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Featuring brand new short stories from Kevin Barry, Eimear McBride, Belinda McKeon, Lisa McInerney, Danielle McLaughlin, Stuart Neville, Sally Rooney, Kit de Waal and many more.
Ireland is going through a golden age of writing: that has never been more apparent. I wanted to capture something of the energy of this explosion, in all its variousness…
Following her own acclaimed short-story collection, Multitudes, Lucy Caldwell guest-edits the sixth volume of Faber’s long-running series of all new Irish short stories, continuing the work of the late David Marcus and subsequent guest editors, Joseph O’Connor, Kevin Barry and Deirdre Madden.
Includes work by an impressive range of contributors, from heavyweights such as Eimear McBride, Kevin Barry, and Lisa McInerney, to relative newcomers Elske Rahill, Jill Crawford, and Melatu Uche Okorie. The anthology borrows its title from a line by Louis MacNeice (“I peel and portion/ A tangerine and spit the pips and feel/ The drunkenness of things being various”), and, fittingly, its contents reflect the exciting variety of Irish literature in 2019.
Caldwell is righting past imbalances . . . One-third of the writers from whom she commissioned new stories do not live in Ireland, and one-third of them were not born here. This is the collection’s greatest strength, offering genuinely fresh perspectives on a familiar terrain and some of the best stories in the book . . . Being Various is the perfect opportunity to get a feel for contemporary Irish literature without wading through a massive backlist of novels. The collection operates within clear parameters but presents a picture of a liberated country. It’s a hugely enjoyable read, and significant credit is due to its editor.
Caldwell seems to burst open the notion of Irishness completely . . . This work will shake you up a little.
Not so long ago it seemed as if the short story might become a footnote of Irish literary history. But we can safely say that its future is highly secured; certainly if the wealth of talent writing in this impressive collection is anything to go by.
[The stories] are all attuned to the transformations overtaking Irish society.
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