At Home and Abroad

Stories and interviews from the Irish Diaspora

Homesickness - Colin Barrett

2022-05-01

Homesickness - Colin Barrett
Colin’s debut book Young Skins swept up several major literary awards when it was published in 2013—the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize, and The Guardian First Book Award—and, in both its linguistic originality and sharply drawn portraits of working-class Ireland, earned Colin comparisons to Faulkner, Hardy, and Musil. Now, in a blistering follow-up collection, Barrett brings together eight character-driven stories, each showcasing his inimitably observant eye and darkly funny style. A quiet night in a local pub is shattered by the arrival of a sword-wielding fugitive; a funeral party teeters on the edge of this world and the next, as ghosts simply won’t lay in wake; a shooting sees a veteran policewoman confront the banality of her own existence; and an aspiring writer grapples with his father’s cancer diagnosis and in his despair wreaks havoc on his mentor’s life. COLIN BARRETT was born in Canada in 1982 and grew up in County Mayo. In 2009 he was awarded the Penguin Ireland Prize, and in 2014 his debut collection of stories YOUNG SKINS was published and awarded The Rooney Prize, The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize and The Guardian First Book Award. He is a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree. In these eight stories, Barrett takes us back to the barren backwaters of County Mayo, via Toronto, and illuminates the lives of outcasts, misfits and malcontents with an eye for the abrupt and absurd. A quiet night in the neighbourhood pub is shattered by the arrival of a sword wielding fugitive. A funeral party teeters on the edge of this world and the next, as ghosts won't simply lay in wake. A shooting sees an everyday call-out lead a policewoman to confront the banality of her own existence. A true follow-up to his electrifying debut collection, HOMESICKNESS marks Colin Barrett out as our most brilliantly original and captivating storyteller.

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