Mailing List


Jenny Karlsson
Jenny Karlsson is a cleaner's daughter from a steel town in Swedish Lapland. She has mopped locker rooms at the steelworks and worked at factories in Leicester before going to university as an adult. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she received a Malcolm Bradbury Memorial bursary, and is currently editing a short story collection.


Articles Available Online


Leo had stopped the car and sat talking at the dash He talked like he didn’t want to say any of it, but at the same time he seemed in a hurry to get it out, to reach the end of what he was telling her He was wired with excitement and shame, perched at the brink of a new life now, Jolanta understood as much   She sat in the back seat with her handbag Leo wouldn’t look at her, he kept his eyes straight on the street, the skip outside the neighbours’ house Jolanta looked at him in the rearview, looked hard at the black of his sunglasses   ‘I’ll help you,’ he said, finally   Where the mirror cut off his jaw hung the prayer beads that he had kept after his father died, smooth and dry like his voice, like cockroaches in the sun   Help her? she thought; a sock for the dismembered, and his help for her   She keeps her job at the campsite, beats dawn without an alarm clock now When the motion detector spots her, fluorescent lights suck the dark from the room The white tiles are glossed like wet teeth The floor is littered with paper towels and dragged in leaves The stalls smell of urine She opens the cupboard marked Private, plastic bottles rattling as she hoicks the cleaning cart over the threshold   There are different kinds of shit stains The darker the stain, the longer and harder she must rub with the toilet brush to get the porcelain shining like crockery again A drop flies up in her face, a cold mouche on her lip She wipes it off on the shoulder of her t-shirt and works her way down the stalls Sweat tickles her spine   She continues going into reception to sign off her shifts At the check-in desk, Eva is sitting with her head in her hand She is wearing a blouse with First Camp stitched on the back and a name tag pinned on the front A round office lamp hangs like an unlit gloria above her head   Behind Eva’s swivel chair is the shelf with the
Love & Accommodation

Prize Entry

April 2018

Jenny Karlsson


READ NEXT

feature

May 2013

Haneke's Lessons

Ricky D'Ambrose

feature

May 2013

‘Art is there to have a stimulating effect, if it earns its name. You have to be honest, that’s...

fiction

May 2012

Hunt for American Heiress Continues...

Seraphina Madsen

fiction

May 2012

Hunt for American Heiress Continues With Bizarre Manuscript Found in Cave in Altamira By ALICE SHIFT 7:00 AM ET...

Interview

December 2017

Interview with Peter Stamm

Seren Adams

Interview

December 2017

Peter Stamm’s international reputation as a writer of acute psychological perception and meticulously precise prose has been growing steadily...

 

Get our newsletter

 

* indicates required