Author(s): Anakana Schofield
Martin John must put a stop to it. They have an agreement, he and Mam. Get out to Aunty Noanie on Wednesday. Stop talking rubbish. Don't go near the buses and don't go down on the Tube. Keep yourself on the outside. Get a job at night. Get a job at night or else I'll come for ya.But Martin John can't stop. Meddlers are interrupting him and Martin John doesn't like Meddlers. If he's interrupted he can't complete his circuits; if he can't complete his circuits, bad things may happen. That's a fact. Written with all the electrifying humour of her award-winning debut Malarky, exhibiting a startling grasp of the loops and obsessions of a molester's mind, Martin John is a testament to Anakana Schofield's skill and audacity-and stands as a brilliant, Beckettian exploration of a man's long slide into deviancy.
Shortlisted for Scotiabank Giller Prize 2015.
'Schofield eschews an excess of detail to terrific effect. The novel's harsh, sometimes broken language, paired with a minimum of punctuation, crafts a deliberate and effective sense of confusion, as if entering a mind or minds in the midst of great turmoil ... This is an important and brilliantly unconventional work.' - Publishers Weekly, starred review ------- 'eerie and elliptical ... Ms. Schofield renders Martin John's consciousness through a kind of staccato anti-poetry.' - Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal ------- This is a very moving and terrific book.' - Daniel Handler (alias Lemony Snicket) ------- 'Profane, strange, hilarious, and necessary, Martin John is a beguiling triumph.' - Patrick deWitt, author of Undermajordomo Minor and The Sisters Brothers ------- 'This is literature serving its most essential function: illuminating the darkest recesses, dragging the unspoken and suppressed to the foreground of our consciousness, throwing light across the blackest of humanity's vistas. This is writing at its most fearless: visceral and searing, yet textured and nuanced; the darkest of comedy and the deepest of insight, combined in a manner unique to Anakana Schofield.' - Donal Ryan, author of The Thing About December and The Spinning Heart ------- 'Martin John is one of the most original and compelling contemporary novels I've read. The writing is an astringent and unforgettable experience.' ------- Krys Lee, author of Drifting House ------- 'Possessed of a biting, acerbic voice, influenced by Beckett, Joyce, and O'Casey, Schofield offers a sardonic, funny, and stylistically innovative breath of fresh air to a literature that too often feels starved of oxygen.' Quill and Quire -------- '[Martin John] is an exhilarating follow-up to her Amazon.ca First Novel Award-winning Malarky ... Martin John's fractured narrative perspective is positively adrenal... Schofield's ability to get us jacked up from exquisitely written and deeply troubling jokes ... makes the Irish Canadian novelist one of the highest-flying and funniest working today.' Emily Keeler, National Post --------' as an avant-garde Canadian novelist, Schofield is in a class unto herself. [Martin John] is a novel that deserves to be discussed.' David B. Hobbs, Globe and Mail --------'Simply brilliant. With its discomfiting portraiture, dazzling brain-puzzle of a storytelling technique, and utter assurance, Martin John easily matches the tremendous promise of Malarky, Schofield's debut.' Brett Josef Grubisic, Macleans ------- 'Schofield's first achievement is to burrow into Martin John's rackety mind. Her second crucial achievement is to turn this unsettling apprehension into a necessary, extraordinary act of empathy.' Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Review -------- 'A fearless look at a broken soul... Do pick [Martin John] up if you are enthralled by what the novel with its variable and elastic form can do as Schofield pushes the boundaries in careful calibrations of narrative structure and language that bites.' Candace Fertile, Vancouver Sun -------- 'Anakana Schofield has eloquently captured the inner life of a hapless pervert - of whom there are many in our society, but who we little understand. Read Martin John and experience the ineluctable pull of one such guilt-ridden deviant and his overbearing mam.' Patricia Dawn Robertson, Toronto Star -------- Praise for Schofield's Malarky ------- 'A fine first novel.' - Margaret Atwood ------- 'A word of warning regarding this one of a kind tale of a woman's endeavours to accept the realities of her life on their own terms- mid-guffaw you may find that you've taken it all most intensely to heart. I read Malarky over a year ago and Our Woman is still with me, so the process is probably irreversible.' -Helen Oyeyemi, author of Mr Fox. ------- 'Malarky is a terrific read, a brilliant collision of heartbreak and hilarity written in a voice that somehow seems both feral and perfectly controlled. Anakana Schofield's Our Woman takes a cool nod at Joyce, then goes her own way in one of the most moving and lyrical debut novels I've read." - Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins ------- 'A caustic, funny, and moving fantasia of an Irish mammy going round the bend.' - Emma Donoghue, author of Room ------- 'Anakana Schofield is part of a new wave of wonderful Irish fiction - international in scope and electrically alive.' - Colum McCann ------- 'Good writing and dark wit always excite me and they come together thrillingly in this book. It has a quiet grip on the strangeness of the interior and exterior worlds of love and politics. I delighted in the writing and the scope.' - Jenny Diski, author of What I Don't Know About Animals ------- 'A refreshing rejection of the escapist fantasy that dominates much of our cultural life... I greatly enjoyed this novel, and I admire Schofield's ability to pull off something so difficult with charm and brio.' - Marina Lewycka, Guardian ------- 'Both blackly comic and deeply felt. There is something heroic about the desperate resilience of Our Woman, and the originality of her depiction by Schofield, that leaves an indelible trace on the reader's mind.' - Sunday Telegraph ------- '"Our Woman" is either utterly mad or scarily sane, a uniquely distinctive voice in a funny and perceptive trip into the off-key oddness of rural life.' - Irish Times, Best Books of 2013 ------- 'Brilliant... laced with dark wit and quirky lyricism, this is a striking portrait of a society in flux and a woman on the edge.' - Mail on Sunday ------- 'Written so skilfully, funnily, respectfully and beautifully... [Our Woman is] one of the most disarmingly likeable characters you'll encounter this year, and watching her haltingly attempt to make sense of the world at the same time as have it slip away from her is what, more than anything else, makes Malarky not just an absolute delight to read, but something which sticks with you well after you've finished reading.' - For Books' Sake
Anakana Schofield won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the Debut-Litzer Prize for Fiction in 2013 for her debut novel Malarky. Malarky was also nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and named on many Best Book of the Year lists for 2012 and 2013. Martin John, her critically acclaimed second novel, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize. Schofield contributes criticism and essays to the London Review of Books Blog, The Guardian, The Irish Times, The Globe and Mail and more.