‘Sometimes he thinks he is already living in the future…’ Max Schaefer’s Children of the Sun

The Green Carnation Prize has been blogging each of the books on its shortlist and interviewing their authors. Don’t forget, the announcement of the winner of this year’s Prize is Wednesday December 1st.

That day is also World AIDs Day. The theme of this year’s action is raising awareness. Why not take time to have a look at the website: http://www.worldaidsday.org/

Back in the world of book prizes, unfortunately we haven’t heard back from author Max Schaefer in quite enough time for us to do an interview – these last five blogs have had to be assembled in quite a rush, so apologies to Max if we couldn’t reach you, and many thanks to those authors who’ve been able to respond – but here are some details relating to his novel: the extremely unnerving and original Children of the Sun.

Children of the Sun

A novel by Max Schaefer

Published by Granta Books

From the back cover: ‘In the tradition of Absolute Beginners, The Buddha of Suburbia and The Line of Beauty: a stunning debut which renders England a place at once familiar and new.


What’s it about?

It’s always the quiet ones you have to watch. James hasn’t long been active in the gay skinhead scene, but quickly he’s fascinated by its origins in far-right groups of the 1980s , and on the ‘secret history’ of gay men in the National Front, specifically Nicky Crane, who may have died in mysterious circumstances. Moving between James’ story, and the disturbing one of a gay neo-nazi in the 70s and 80s, Schaefer’s compelling novel takes us into a world of paranoia, kitschy occult ceremony, and a history of fear and hate in the UK.


What they say

‘A very original debut and a very compulsive read, Children of the Sun had me hooked from the first page to the last’ – David Peace


Epigraph: ‘He reads on the brickwork: “NF FUCKS MEN.” And is not displeased’ – Iain Sinclair, Suicide Bridge


Opening lines:

Sometimes he thinks he is already living in the future.

It is Monday, 31 August 1970. It is a bank holiday, he is fourteen, and his erection is tugging him across ground dazed by the sun. Grass barely twitches in the motionless air. The heat is amplifying: flies thud around a dog shit whose stench has overgrown it hugely, like a hothouse plant.


There is an area of unchecked growth nearby, where the ground is darkened by thick trees and bracken. It is camouflage. It is where he is heading.



You can buy Children of the Sun here at Amazon.co.uk, and 3:AM magazine has a great interview with Schaefer about his novel here.

This entry was posted in The Green Carnation Bunch 2010, The Green Carnation Shortlist 2010, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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