Coming of age in rural England in the eighties is far from straightforward for Kate Happy, in a hilarious, highly-praised debut novel of family, secrets and dead ancestors in the attic.
Gran has been homesick for Coney Island for thirty-eight years, hating her husband but determinedly donning her best pink Chanel suit and high heels to step out into the muck-splattered farmyard. Grandpa is bonkers, an ex-naval Captain who wanders round the house shouting sea-faring commands. Mum's gone AWOL since she ran over Kate's dad in her soft-top Triumph Spitfire. And are those really Dad's ashes in a Hellmann's mayonnaise jar in the attic?
Crackling with the darkest of dark humour, brimming with crazy ancestors and closely guarded secrets, HAPPY ACCIDENTS is a wonderful first novel that confirms Tiffany Murray as a rising star of British fiction.
A graduate of UEA's MA fiction program, Tiffany Murray has had short fiction appear in Pretext and Mslexia, as well as a series of first-person articles published in The Independent on Sunday. She has lived in New York, where she taught Caribbean literature at NYU; she was an actress for a second; and she is now completing her PhD. at UEA, where she teaches creative writing with Paul Magrs, Michele Roberts and Patricia Duncker. Tiffany is co-editing Pretext 8 with Helon Habila.