What a great name for a novel… Malcolm Orange disappears.
When you have been raised in Northern Ireland like I was, and you find a debut novel entitled Malcolm Orange disappears, by a Northern Irish writer with the immediately, irrefutably, instantly pigeon-hole-able name of Jan Carson, you immediately know you have picked up some kind of Ulster coming-of-age, angst-ridden, quasi-political novel, probably with the underlying message of “wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was nice?” a la Terry Pratchett’s mechanical dolls.
And how totally, compellingly wrong you would be.
Malcolm Orange disappears is an appealing, engaging, light-hearted Magic Realist novel exploring deep, universal themes through a joyous, wacky lens.
If you would like to know more about this bizarre, joyful debut you can find it in my review of the novel written for the new Incubator Journal, Belfast’s most recent addition to a burgeoning literary journal scene. The rest of the journal is flash fiction and plays and a second review. For issue three they are calling for essays…. why not essay an essay with a flamboyant sashay, essayists, and send it in?