Welcome to Part Two of my round-up of new books coming out of Ireland this year. There are so many that I’m looking forward to that one post just wasn’t enough.
None of this is Serious by Catherine Prasifka
A debut novel, once again set in Trinity College Dublin and written by Sally Rooney’s sister-in-law, None Of This Is Serious follows Sophie as she navigates her life and her loves, online and off, in that most precarious of times following graduation. Novels about online life can be a bit hit or miss in my opinion, but this sounds like it could be a really entertaining read.
Idol by Louise O’Neill
Louise O’Neill never shies away from big topics and her new novel is no different. Idol explores the world of online influencers, asking how well we can ever really know those whose carefully curated profiles we follow online. And it asks us to consider how two memories of the same event can differ, and how effortlessly we choose which stories to believe.
Poguemahone by Patrick McCabe
Patrick McCabe, author of one of my all time favourite books – The Butcher Boy – returns with “a wild, 600-page ballad, a free verse monologue narrated by Dan Fogarty, an Irishman living in England, who is looking after his sister Una, now 70 and suffering from dementia in a care home in Margate.” McCabe is never dull and Poguemahone (‘Kiss My Arse’ in phonetic Irish) promises to be bold, dark, irreverent and unforgettable.
You can read an excerpt here.
Lenny by Laura McVeigh
Northern Ireland author Laura McVeigh’s new book sounds literally magical. Lenny tells the story of homeless 10-year-old Lenny Lockhart, whose only friends are his plucky, elderly neighbour, Miss Julie, and a lonely librarian, Lucy Albert. Determined to save his town from a sinkhole that threatens to swallow them whole, Lenny tells a deeply affecting story of family and love, the ways we can be kind, and the power of one boy’s imagination to heal and survive.
Praised by Jan Carson (who knows a thing or two about magical children) as a story that will ‘literally break your heart’, this is one to look out for.
New Island, March
All Along the Echo by Danny Denton
An editor of The Stinging Fly, Danny Denton made a splash with his debut novel The Earlie King & The Kid In Yellow. His new book has been compared to George Saunders and Samuel Beckett and is set in the world of talk radio.
“Tony Cooney, a radio talk-show host, takes a road trip across Ireland as part of a publicity stunt organized by a local car dealership. Giving away a car, the catch is that it must go to one of the many emigrants who have recently returned home to escape a wave of escalating terror attacks in London. But as they navigate dual carriageways and Holiday Inns, giving airtime and narrative to the great cacophony of voices calling into the show, the car competition transforms into a quest to the very heart of who and what we are…”
Atlantic Books, April
Seven Steeples by Sara Baume
Following her recent foray into non-fiction, Sara Baume, author of Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither returns with a new novel which sounds incredibly powerful. Seven Steeples is about a couple that pushes against traditional expectations, moving with their dogs to the Irish countryside where they embed themselves in nature and make attempts to disappear from society.
Described as ‘tender’, ‘hypnotic’ and ‘profound’ it sounds like Baume will deliver once again.
Tramp Press, April
Check back next week when I’ll be highlighting some great Irish short story collections due for release this year.
I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!