The Naming of Bones

Jan Kaneen

Every object has a story to tell.

Set against the backdrop of the Norfolk coast, The Naming of Bones weaves a patchwork tale of redemption and recovery. Real-life memories intertwine with dreams and folklore in this deeply moving tale of loss and unresolved grief, where tiny moments carry as much weight as the ever-present, ever-changing North Sea.

As passionate as it is personal, this story unearths relics of the author’s life to reveal the transformative power of love, understanding and forgiveness.



The Naming of Bones can also be ordered from any independent bookstore, by using the ISBN: 978-1-8380430-7-0

Publication date: 22nd April 2021

Ebook: 978-1-8380430-6-3

Paperback: 978-1-8380430-7-0


If you only read one book this year, let it be The Naming of Bones. Jan Kaneen’s themes make compelling reading: brutal honesty about anxiety disorder, complex family dynamics and the realisation that an incalculable loss has lain unacknowledged for years. The narrative voice develops as the author picks up a literary pen for the first time, which goes hand-in-hand with ghostly imagery taking on a more concrete form. The author’s newfound ability serves to unravel the disquiet in her mind, as she embraces the incantations that have haunted her for years: ‘I start with my toes, phalanges, metatarsals. . .’ – Nod Ghosh, author of The Crazed Wind and Filthy Sucre

‘Beautifully written and emotionally compelling, The Naming of Bones is as much the story of a writer coming into her own as it is a memoir of loss and grief. Through a series of vividly rendered dreams and memories, Kaneen explores the depths of her subconscious to find meaning and release. This memoir-in-flash is a brilliant example of the healing power of creative expression. A compassionate and courageous, ultimately transcendent work.’ – Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life: Collected Works from 2003-2018

‘This enchanted work spins an intricate web of profound emotion that clings to you with each fibrous thread. Throughout this memoir-in-flash, the vivid imagery and sensory details immerse the reader in a world of the magical abstract that’s nevertheless grounded in haunting and poignant humanity. Each section leaves you yearning for the next, as you follow Kaneen through a world of grief and discovery. Grab a lantern, follow the light of the moon, just past the witching hour, and open your heart to verdant passages and golden trails of human frailty.’ – The Molotov Cocktail