A blockbuster collection from one of Ireland’s most exciting young voices: “Sharp and lively . . . a rough, charged, and surprisingly fun read” (Interview).
A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree * Winner of the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award * Winner of the Guardian First Book Award * Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature
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 destiny 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.
“Lyrical and tough and smart . . . What seems to be about sorrow and foreboding turns into an adventure, instead, in the tender art of the unexpected.” —Anne Enright, Man Booker Prize Award–winning author
“Sometimes comic, sometimes melancholy, Young Skins touches the heart, as well as the mind.” —Irish American Post