Freight Books Freight Books
Jellyfish by Janice Galloway

Format: Hardback, 216 x 138mm, 208pp

ISBN Code: 978-1-908754-95-0


by Janice Galloway


Shortlisted for the Saltire Society Best Novel Award 2015 
Longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award 
Longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2016
Longlisted for Saboteur Awards Best Short Story Collection 2016

Sex and Love and Parenthood

In this sparkling and powerful new collection, Janice Galloway takes on David Lodge’s assertion – ‘Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children; life’s the other way round’ and scent-marks her multi-layered fiction with what she believes to be the greater truth. Razor sharp tales of two of the most powerful human experiences from one of our country’s best loved and most acclaimed authors.

Praise for Jellyfish

‘Exquisite similes (deflating balloons nose the ceiling “like fish kissing the surface of a tank, needing to feed”) and witty metaphors (a couple having sex produces a “light sticking and unsticking sound, not unlike Sellotape but softer”) rise up and sting the senses like the eponymous jellyfish. With this electrifying volume Galloway proves herself a truly powerful writer who deserves to be much better known.’ Independent

‘An exquisite short-story collection.’ Guardian

‘She offers vivid snatches of observed and imagined life. She makes pictures, sometimes beautiful, sometimes startling. She has a gift for the unforeseen and illuminating phrase. She crafts these pieces carefully.’ Scotsman

‘…thoughtful, accurate, sorrowful, dark, infinitely tender, angry, memorable.’ Herald

‘…the language and characters are crafted in a way that is perfectly poised, brutal and honest.’ Bethany’s Book Reviews

‘…wonderfully kinetic use of imagery.’ Shiny New Books

‘Galloway strips away some of our comforting illusions, and confronts us with our weaknesses, our fears and our fallibility.’ Skinny 

‘In the eponymous story from her most recent collection, Jellyfish, Janice Galloway shows her genius for the “ouch” principle: the wince-inducing collision of something exposed and over-sensitive with something brutal and sadistic.’ Victoria Best, Numero Cinq Magazine

‘This is a short story collection to savour, by one of the foremost Scottish writers of her generation.’ Irish Times 

‘There are some utterly outstanding stories in this new collection from Janice Galloway… I felt I’d accompanied characters who were precious and vulnerable through watery emotional light and dark, and surfaced richer and stronger, supremely conscious of that balance between our strengths and our frailties as parents, and as individuals.’ Northwords Now

Jellyfish should be taken in by slow osmotic indulgence, and not guzzled in a glut of page-turning. Its stories may vary in content and tone, but the acute observation of mundane existences delivers powerful characters you want to grasp and lift out of the pages, slap across the face or embrace empathically. In what seem to be very ordinary lives on the pages of this collection, lie some extraordinary stories.’ Dundee University Review of the Arts

‘Each story, each sentence, is beautifully crafted by someone who cares enough to take such care. Often when something is so meticulously crafted the results can be admirable yet cold. However, these stories exude a raw emotion that is barely contained on the page. Love, anger, loss, desire – there are passions on show which are palpable, and which stir the senses like few writers can. If you read a better book than Jellyfish this year you are a very lucky person indeed.’ Scots Whay Hae 

‘Incisive studies of human interaction in a wide variety of situations, sparely written, startlingly original and unexpected. Sentences start, go unexpectedly, sometimes (like human speech) don’t finish. A challenging and very satisfying read.’ Saltire Society

‘I am reading very slowly so as to savour each brilliant word.’ Sara Crowley, writer

‘Galloway has hit a rich seam of imagination as she returns to the short story as a form. It’s perfect for her style – wry, slightly off-kilter and always returning to the theme of parent and child, the kind of subject matter that offers Galloway the chance to delve once more into the murky depths of human relatinships.’ Kaite Welsh, arts critic and writer

‘It’s the stories about mothers and children that really cut to the quick.’ Zoe Strachan, novelist, choose Jellyfish as a favourite book of the year in the Sunday Herald

‘Fascinating examinaions of love, sex and parenthood written in Galloway’s inimitable style. Intriguingly-titled stories just waiting to be read.’ Scots Magazine