Irish contemporary fiction

Cover image for Falling Animals by Sheila Armstrong

Falling Animals by Sheila Armstrong: For those in peril on the sea

I was delighted to spot Sheila Armstrong’s first novel in the publishing schedules having been so impressed with her short story collection, How to Gut a Fish. That had a touch of the surreal about it which I half expected from Falling Animals, given it’s slightly disconcerting, rather lovely cover, but Armstrong’s novel is not

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Cover image for Nothing Special by Nicole Flattery

Nothing Special by Nicole Flattery: ‘I could become someone of my own invention’  

I would have been keen to read Nicole Flattery’s first novel anyway, having enjoyed her excellent short story collection, Show Them a Good Time, but its premise is intriguing. In 1967, two young high school students helped transcribe tapes of conversations and monologues made by Andy Warhol’s coterie on which he based A Novel. Flattery’s

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Cover image for The Night Interns by Austin Duffy

The Night Interns by Austin Duffy: ‘They didn’t know that we didn’t know anything, and it was probably better that way’

The Night Interns is oncologist Austin Duffy’s third novel. It takes us back to his workplace, the setting for his debut, This Living and Immortal Thing, following three surgical interns, not long graduated from medical school, working the night shift in a large hospital where they’re expected to avoid calling senior medical staff at all

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Cover image for How to Gust a Fish by Sheila Armstrong

How to Gut a Fish by Sheila Armstrong: A striking, idiosyncratic collection

Irish writer Sheila Armstrong’s debut collection How to Gut a Fish came with a glowing endorsement from Roddy Doyle which was part of the lure for me; that and the hint of the surreal in its blurb. The collection comprises fourteen stories, none more than twenty pages long, each very different from the other. As

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