That Old Country Music
SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDGE HILL SHORT STORY PRIZE
‘One of the best collections you’ll read this year’ Sunday Times
‘Wild, witty stories . . . Exhilarating’ Observer
Since his landmark debut collection, There Are Little Kingdoms, and its award-winning sequel in 2012, Dark Lies the Island, Kevin Barry has been acclaimed as one of the world’s most accomplished and gifted short story writers.
Barry’s lyric intensity, the vitality of his comedy and the darkness of his vision recall the work of masters of the genre like Flannery O’Connor and William Trevor, but he has forged a style which is patently his own.
In this rapturous third collection, we encounter a ragbag of west of Ireland characters, many on the cusp between love and catastrophe, heartbreak and epiphany, resignation and hope. These stories show an Ireland in a condition of great flux but also as a place where older rhythms, and an older magic, somehow persist.
Kevin Barry is one of the best. The essence of humanity and its many facets is buried deep in his bones, ready to be unearthed and exhibited in signature Barry style * * Irish Examiner * * Barry is a truly astonishing writer * * Scotland on Sunday * * Barry's ear for dialogue remains tip-top * * Daily Mail * * A writer in full command of the possibilities of the form * * Irish Times * * Extremely talented creator, Kevin Barry, has a fine instinct for the sweet spot where the comforting familiarities of genre blend into the surprises and provocations of art * * New York Times Book Review * * Reading him, I am given the feeling that I've achieved something, done something good and am being justly remunerated. The brain lights up and grins -- Niall Griffiths * * Spectator * * One of the most gifted fiction writers to emerge from the English-speaking world in the new century * * Paris Review * * Among the next generation of writers - Zadie Smith, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Safran Foer and so on - the one that stands above the rest for ambition, language and sheer verve is Barry . . . If you haven't heard of him yet, you soon will. I'd wager he'll wind up with the Nobel Prize for Literature before he's done * * Evening Standard * * Barry is a clarvoyant narrator of the male psyche and a consistent lyrical visionary * * Guardian * * Kevin Barry is two kinds, if not three kinds, of a genius -- BBC RADIO 4 Buoyant . . . Barry is such a deft and generous writer * * New York Times * * If prose were gold and diamonds there'd be thousands of hell-bent prospectors heading for the Black Hills of Kevin Barry's glistening, sparkling novel -- SEBASTIAN BARRY One of the most abundantly talented novelists writing today * * Daily Telegraph * * Kevin Barry is one of the most original, daring, and seriously funny writers ever to come out of Ireland. I'd walk a hundred miles for a new Barry book and I would make the happy journey home, laughing -- COLUM McCANN Barry writes with real exuberance * * Sunday Times * * Praise for Kevin Barry: The Barry turn of phrase is a true wonder of this world -- MAX PORTER Barry is wickedly funny, slyly transgressive and consistently brilliant. He is constantly turning tricks with language before upending us on the thwarted desires of his characters and the dark energy of his landscapes. And underpinning it all, the melancholy of men that is Barry's hallmark -- MARY COSTELLO These are brilliant and vivid and uproarious stories. It's a rare writer who can call a tune like Kevin Barry -- LISA McINERNEY
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