Jean Rafferty's first two works of fiction were both nominated for literary prizes.
The Four Marys, published by Saraband Books in 2014, was longlisted for the 2015 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize. It didn't win one but Matthew Bates, one of the judges, is travel buyer at WH Smith and liked it so much he subsequently gave it a promotion at their train station and airport shops.
The book is a collection of four novellas responding to Scottish myth, history and music and dealing with themes of motherhood and love. Are the two things always compatible? Through shape-shifting, baby-snatching, infanticide and a hanging, The Four Marys explores the passions and sometimes disappointments of being a mother.
The Four Marys is published by Saraband, winners of the Saltire Society's inaugural award for Scottish Publisher of the Year.
'Fairy tales, ballads, riddles and folk songs tell stories of sufferings and crimes, love and death, as Ophelia knew when she sang snatches of them in her madness. Jean Rafferty’s Four Marys takes up with strong feeling and uncompromising frankness the true histories concealed in these voices from the past; she unfolds their contemporary urgency. These are powerful stories about the lives and deaths of women – and of their children'
Marina Warner, author of From the Beast to the Blonde and Stranger Magic: Charmed States & the Arabian Nights
'Through the theme of reproduction, Jean Rafferty unflinch- ingly reproduces Scottish legends, inscribing them into the contemporary world, so that in sinuous prose the past shimmers to life through the present. The Four Marys is a tremendous achievement.'
Zoë Wicomb, author of October and winner of a 2013 Windham Campbell prize
Rafferty is also the author of Myra, Beyond Saddleworth, shortlisted for the inaugural Gordon Burn Prize.
It was published by Wild Wolf Publishing in 2012.
The book is also out on Kindle.
‘A book that is both easy to read, and hard to read. Its exploration of the all-too-credible notion that dehumanisation is only human, is compelling and disturbing in equal measure.’ ~ Deborah Orr, The Guardian
‘Jean Rafferty is a remarkable writer with the bravery to explore the depths and the talent to take us with her.’ ~ Louise Welsh, author of The Cutting Room.
Jean Rafferty's work is currently being supported by a grant from Creative Scotland.