'Jones is a writer who can inhabit the voice of any person of any age from any background, it seems, and the characters are well-rounded and believable; in fact, we’re immersed into their worlds, their viewpoints, with consummate ease... Place looms large, directing and affecting, constricting and curtailing, and is, perhaps, the true master in these deft, defiant stories that are also truly thoughtful, entirely original, and wonderfully compelling' – Mab Jones, Buzz Magazine
'Flashes of Dylan Thomas glint in the Old Garbo-esque ‘Half Moon, New Year,’ a snapshot of Llanelli night-life on a cold 31st of December; residents of varying ages cheering as fireworks go off on the telly, and forget the words to Auld Lang Syne... Jones’ writing is at its best when he gets a chance to deep-dive into his characters.' – Rachel Trezise, Nation.Cymru
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.
Joshua Jones (he/him) is a queer, autistic writer and artist from Llanelli, South Wales. He co-founded Dyddiau Du, a NeuroQueer art and literature space in Cardiff. His fiction and poetry have been published by Poetry Wales, Broken Sleep Books, Gutter and others. He is a Literature Wales Emerging Writer for 2023, and is currently working with the British Council to connect Welsh and Vietnamese queer writers. Local Fires is his first publication of fiction.
Twitter: @nothumanhead / Insta: @joshuajoneswrites