Young Skins

Young Skins

Summary

WINNER OF THE 2014 GUARDIAN FIRST BOOK AWARD

'One of the best books of the past decade... The characters are edgy, often violent, locked into a world described in ways that are both harsh and tender. . . Adds a sense of myth, even a spiritual aura, to the narrative that lifts the meanness of the circumstances into some other realm' Colm Tóibín, Washington Post

*Winner of the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award
*Winner of the 2014 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature


This magnificent collection takes us to Glanbeigh, a small town in rural Ireland - a town in which the youth have the run of the place. Boy racers speed down the back lanes; couples haunt the midnight woods; young skins huddle in the cold once The Peacock has closed its doors. Here the young live hard and wear the scars. It matters whose sister you were seen with. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, it matters a very great deal.

Colin Barrett's debut does not take us to Glanbeigh alone; there are other towns, and older characters. But each story is defined by a youth lived in a crucible of menace and desire - and each crackles with the uniform energy and force that distinguish this terrific collection.

Reviews

  • Colin Barrett's sentences are lyrical and tough and smart, but there is something more here that makes him a really good writer. His stories are set in a familiar emotional landscape, but they give us endings that are new. What seems to be about sorrow and foreboding turns into an adventure, instead, in the tender art of the unexpected.
    Anne Enright

About the author

Colin Barrett

Colin Barrett was born in 1982 and grew up in County Mayo. His stories have been published in The Stinging Fly, Granta, Harper’s and the New Yorker. His first book, the short story collection Young Skins, won the 2014 Guardian First Book Award, the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and the 2014 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. In 2018 Barrett was selected as the Rolex Arts Initiative protege in Literature. His debut novel is forthcoming from Jonathan Cape.
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