I’m Afraid That’s All We’ve Got Time For

Jen Calleja

Illustrated by Richard Phoenix

Traven T. Croves (Design) KOPA, Lithuania (Printer)




ISBN: 9781916052055


Publication date: 18 March 2020



I’m Afraid that’s All We’ve Got Time For is the debut short story collection by writer and literary translator Jen Calleja.

A novelist questions why she’s been shortlisted for the Prize of Prize’s Prize; an artist duo has a messy break up; a schoolgirl is saved from a predator by a flash flood and a gang of dead animals; a surgeon has an incurable identity crisis; a budding actor can’t see what’s so funny; a pregnant food writer gets a craving for luxury consumerism.

These thirteen stories by writer and literary translator Jen Calleja pick apart the hidden motivations behind our desires, and the ways we seek out distraction from difficult truths. They investigate histories, power dynamics, rituals, institutions – the roles we adopt, as well as the ones we inherit.

Known for her acclaimed poetry and translations, and as a performer in numerous bands, these facets manifest in an attention to the latent ambivalence of language, and the nature of storytelling itself. This writing is direct and considered – it asks to be read, read out loud, retold, refashioned into fables with a distinctive mouthfeel.

I’m Afraid that’s All We’ve Got Time For is a sharp, bold, inventive and prescient fictional debut from a versatile and brilliant writer.

‘Comic, inventive and surreal, I’m Afraid That’s All We’ve Got Time Forrenders a world unfamiliar yet familiar with each bright shard of a story.’ – Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018

‘Calleja creates worlds where “there is so much space between molecules that we never really touch anyone or anything.” Reading about busses on detours, short windows opening and closing, erased identities, air kisses, blank books and books yet to be written, I felt held at arm’s length of something crucially important. Deferral and near misses are at the core of Calleja’s writing, yet this collection entirely hits the mark. I loved it.’ – Isabel Waidner, author of We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff, shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize 2019