Modern fairy tales of magic, outsiders and lost souls
'A gem of a book ... deeply moving' Stylist
'A darkly clever, beautifully written and deliciously twisted collection of modern fairy tales' Red
'Campbell writes beautifully' Grazia
'What a book. It's so strange and magical and the writing is just beautiful. I loved it' Louise O'Neill
'Enchanting and illuminating' Carys Bray, author of A Song For Issy Bradley
'Like walking through a mirror' Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
'This book is full of character and magic, and I found myself mesmerised' Claire Fuller, author of Our Endless Numbered Days
'These stories are weaved together like silvery fishing nets. Like shimmering, jewel-bright worlds' Helen McClory
'These days, you can find anything you need at the click of a button.
That's why I bought her heart online.'
Spirits in jam jars, mini-apocalypses, animal hearts and side shows.
A girl runs a coffin hotel on a remote island.
A boy is worried his sister has two souls.
A couple are rewriting the history of the world.
And mermaids are on display at the local aquarium.
The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is a collection of twelve haunting stories; modern fairy tales brimming with magic, outsiders and lost souls.
'I'm fascinated by storytelling, and particularly fairy tales. How humans have always tried to explain things that they can't possibly understand with, sometimes outrageous, stories' Jen Campbell
From the author of Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops series and The Bookshop Book.
Campbell's entirely fresh reframing of classic fairytales within modern experiences...really got me thinking. The perfect autumnal read to curl up with. — Stylist
razor-sharp critique of contemporary issues and deeply moving short stories — Stylist
quietly excellent — Stylist
The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is a gem of a book — Stylist
A darkly clever, beautifully written and deliciously twisted collection of modern fairy tales — Sarra Manning, Red
'dark, twisted fairy tales' — Kirsty Logan, The Herald
Full of wonder: brilliantly imaginative, with dark, unsettling undercurrents ... The characters sparkle with a sense of the surreal, but these outcasts, misfits and loners are filled with hopes and dreams, and are as believable as those in any true-life novel. — Psychologies
Interwoven with myth and fairy tale, these stories are surprising, delightful, and by turns dangerous and joyful, like walking through a mirror and discovering a world that you both recognise and have never seen before. — Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
'Campbell's fairy tales retain a kaleidoscope quality from the first to the last page...a reality coloured by our imagination in which we are as strong as we are vulnerable, as similar as we are different.' Sanja Gligoric
There are so many intriguing characters and situations to be enjoyed in The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night...Jen Campbell is clearly a writer to watch. — Katy Goodwin-Bates, New Books magazine
Visceral, sinister and yet strangely beguiling ... her stories often explore characters, situations and settings caught in that strange area between the known and the unfamiliar, between the normal and the 'monstrous' ... Comparisons could be made to Angela Carter, but Campbell's stories have a quality completely their own; haunting in their imagery and powerful in their brevity. — Carolyn Percy, Wales Art Review
Interesting and refreshing ... an extremely enlightening read — TN2 Magazine
Funny and poignant and unexpected. A fable for our times. — Sarah Franklin
fantasy, magic, fairy tales, with a sprinkling of reality — Irish Times