Winner of the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award
Winner of the 2014 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature
Winner of the 2014 Guardian First Book Award
“A stunning debut . . . The timeless nature of each story means this collection canand willbe read many years from now.” Sunday Times
Making an explosive entrance onto the Irish and UK literary scene with rave reviews in the Sunday Times
and the Guardian
, Colin Barrett’s Young Skin
s is a stunning introduction to a singular voice in contemporary fiction.
Enter the small, rural town of Glanbeigh, a place whose fate took a downturn with the Celtic Tiger, a desolate spot where buffoonery and tension simmer and erupt, and booze-sodden boredom fills the corners of every pub and nightclub. Here and in the towns beyond, the young live hard and wear the scars. Amongst them, there’s jilted Jimmy, whose best friend, Tug, is the terror of the town and Jimmy’s sole company in his search for the missing Clancy kid; Bat, a lovesick soul with a face like “a bowl of mashed-up spuds” even before Nubbin Tansey’s boot kicked it in; and Arm, a young and desperate criminal whose fate is shaped when he and his partner, Dympna, fail to carry out a job. In each story, a local voice delineates the grittiness of post-boom Irish society. These are unforgettable characters rendered through silence, humor, and violence.
With darkly comic wit, reminiscent of Wells Tower’s Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
and the power and originality of Claire Wakins’s Battleborn
, these six dynamic short stories and one novella occupy the ghostly, melancholic spaces between boyhood and old age. Told in Barrett’s vibrant, distinctive prose, Young Skins
is an accomplished and irreverent debut from a brilliant new writer. Read Colin Barrett's story "The Ways" in The New Yorker
Colin Barrett interviewed in The New Yorker