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Young Skins : Stories
by Colin Barrett


Overview - A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree
Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the "Guardian" First Book Award, and 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.
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More About Young Skins by Colin Barrett
 
 
 
Overview
A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree
Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the "Guardian" First Book Award, and 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.
Told in Barrett s vibrant, distinctive prose, "Young Skins" is an accomplished and irreverent debut from a singular new voice in contemporary fiction."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780802123329
  • ISBN-10: 0802123325
  • Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat
  • Publish Date: March 2015
  • Page Count: 224


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Short Stories (single author)
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-01-19
  • Reviewer: Staff

Barrett’s accomplished debut collection, winner of the Guardian First Book Award and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award in 2014, brims with young men affixed to bar stools with drained pint glasses, recalling tales of past failures over pub chatter. The stories’ protagonists function on society’s fringes—as bouncers, washed-up musicians, cheap muscle—yet all eschew the single dimension often reserved for such characters, instead speaking in voices both world-weary and wise, equally confident and lost. In “Stand Your Skin,” a disfigured service-station employee attempts to return to his old haunts after he’s invited to a coworker’s going-away party, only to realize he can’t slip into his former self. “Diamonds” finds a recovering alcoholic tempted to fall off the wagon by a new face at his AA meeting and her exotic stories of diamond mines. The centerpiece of the volume is a masterly novella, “Calm with Horses,” that follows a thug nicknamed Arm while he navigates fatherhood and the anguish of his profession as the right-hand man to a local drug dealer. Moments of violence punctuate several of these stories, but the collection’s true impact comes in the gifted prose of Barrett, which flourishes in poetic and spare scenes; he is an assured, powerful new literary voice. Agent: Lucy Luck Associates. (Mar.)

 
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