An outstanding literary debut, Cold City uses speculative fiction to explore one young woman’s mental illness and our darkest feelings about family.
Two weeks after his death, Susan McPherson sees her father on the street in Glasgow. Not long after she takes an overdose and is committed to a psychiatric institution. There she is given a cocktail of drugs and soon finds herself moving between the reality of hospital and an alternate city, permanently covered in snow and ice.
In her new world her gay brother, Jamie, is now married to Claire. The country is dominated by militant pagan groups and Christian fundamentalism is on the rise, led by the charismatic preacher, McLean. Susan is befriended by Raj, a mysterious man who creates paintings of wolves and Norse legends.
As Susan is drawn into the struggles and relationships of this new parallel world, her grip on her ‘first world’ loosens further. Who is Raj and what are his intentions? What will happen when in the new repressive world her brother is unmasked as a homosexual? What is McLean’s real agenda? Can Susan resolve the crises in the ice-bound city in order to return to reality?
Praise for Cold City
‘An utterly absorbing and captivating debut. The scope of McSporran’s vision is exhilarating, moving between psychiatric ward and chilling alternate reality. Cold City rises above genre classification, delivering drama, emotional depth and existential enquiry. A remarkable achievement.’ Vicki Jarrett, author of Nothing is Heavy
‘a well told, compelling and very wintry tale about repression and mental illness.’ Diva Magazine
‘Cold City is ambitious, fresh, original and successful.’ Dundee University Review of the Arts