Local Fires – Joshua Jones
Publication Date: 2nd November 2023
Chloe enters the local talent show, seeking fame, fortune and a ticket out of town. Meanwhile, her mother, Angie, wakes up hungover on the morning of her fourth wedding day. William ponders his impending autism diagnosis through the lenses of Descartes and Hollywood heartthrob Clive Owen. Jimmy, the hot-headed proprietor of a firework shop, rages at the emergence of a rival store, as his ex-wife considers the existential ramifications of her uncanny resemblance to TV cleaning personality Kim Woodburn.
Local Fires sees debut writer Joshua Jones turn his acute focus to his birthplace of Llanelli, South Wales. Sardonic and melancholic, joyful and grieving, these multifaceted stories may be set in a small town, but they have reach far beyond their locality. From the inertia of living in an ex-industrial working-class area, to gender, sexuality, toxic masculinity and neurodivergence, Jones has crafted a collection versatile in theme and observation, as the misadventures of the town’s inhabitants threaten to spill over into an incendiary finale.
In this stunning series of interconnected tales, fires both literal and metaphorical, local and all-encompassing, blaze together to herald the emergence of a singular new Welsh literary voice.