'A poignant, piercing meditation on middle age and the passing of time… will linger with you long after the book is closed' Guardian
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE ENCORE AWARD 2020*
On a bitterly cold winter’s afternoon, Michael and Caitlin escape their unhappy marriages to keep an illicit rendezvous. Once a month, for the past quarter of a century, Coney Island has been their haven; these precious, hidden hours their only nourishment. But now, amid the howling of an angry snowstorm, the shut-down, out-of-season resort feels like the edge of the world. And their lives, suddenly, are on the brink – with news of serious illness on one side, and a move to the Midwest on the other.
Novel of the year is My Coney Island Baby, by Billy O’Callaghan, a lush, precise, poetic account of a love affair that ends the way most love affairs do. We knew O’Callaghan to be a master of the short story, and here he shows the grand reach of his powers as a novelist.
O’Callaghan [has made a] significant achievement in this fine novel… Good books remind us of other good books and in its treatment of adultery this one calls to mind thematic ancestors such as Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina and The Scarlet Letter.
A poignant, piercing meditation on middle age and the passing of time… these characters will linger with you long after the book is closed.
Quiet, subtle and deeply moving… This is a fine novel, with elegance and wisdom lying beneath an unpretentious surface and O’Callaghan, a gifted writer, has managed to do that most difficult of things: take a quiet, almost everyday story and transform it into a thing of beauty.
We’ve gathered some of our favourite contemporary Irish love stories for you to curl up with. Whether you’re looking for family drama, or timeless love, we’ve got the perfect book.
It's shaping up to be a stellar year in Irish writing. We take a look at some of the best Irish fiction coming up in 2019 for your to-be-read pile, from Tana French to Billy O'Callaghan.
Irish writer Billy O’Callaghan is back with a devastatingly powerful new novel, My Coney Island Baby. Here Billy writes about the early loss of his brother, Richard, and how writing about it has changed the shape of his grief.