Common Decency

Common Decency

A dark, intimate novel of love, grief and obsession

Summary


'Susannah Dickey is a phenomenal talent and I loved this novel.' ELIZABETH DAY


'A vivid and beautifully written novel that confirms [Dickey] as one of literature's major new talents ... its quiet despair is genuinely affecting' OBSERVER

'[A] treat . . . vividly compelling . . . a rare talent' SUNDAY TIMES

'Seriously readable' DAILY MAIL

'I loved Common Decency . . . a surprising, clever, sad and strange book . . . such a propulsive joy to read too.' MEGAN NOLAN

'Susannah Dickey is, quite simply, one of the funniest and most insightful novelists writing today.' NELL FRIZZELL

FROM THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED AUTHOR OF TENNIS LESSONS

In an apartment building in Belfast, two women wrestle with the sorrows and spectres of love and loss.

Since her mother's death, Lily has withdrawn from the world, trapped between grief and anger. She has to break out of this damaging cycle - but how?

Upstairs, Siobhán is consumed by her affair with a married man. Her days revolve around his sporadic texts and rare visits. She barely notices the strange girl who lives below and dawdles in the foyer.

But Lily is keeping a close eye on her neighbour, whose life seems so much better and more fulfilling than her own. When resentment evolves into something darker and more urgent, she decides to teach Siobhán a lesson...

From the critically acclaimed author of Tennis Lessons comes a darkly powerful novel about two lives running closely in parallel but divided by gulfs of misunderstanding. With boundless wisdom and deep empathy, Dickey charts the anonymity and hidden intimacies of modern existence, and our profound human need to connect.

'Sharp as tacks, extremely funny and deeply moving. This novel is very good company.' JAN CARSON

'A poignant, deft portrayal of love, obsession and grief' STYLIST

'Rich and absorbing . . . thrilling and engaging' IRISH TIMES

'[A]n unsettling, bewitching tale about loneliness, connection and obsession.' EVENING STANDARD



PRAISE FOR SUSANNAH DICKEY

'I loved Tennis Lessons so much. Susannah is a phenomenally talented writer'
ELIZABETH DAY

'A raw, fierce, shockingly honest coming-of-age story' LOUISE O'NEILL

'Incredibly funny . . . by turns charming and disgusting and I loved it
' NELL FRIZZELL

'Brilliant . . . a wonderful writer, hugely talented, very funny and insightful' ALAN DAVIES

'Propulsive . . . brilliantly vivid . . . stays in the mind long after reading' IRISH TIMES

'A beautifully written and psychologically incisive bildungsroman...the arrival of a young writer to watch'
OBSERVER

Reviews

  • Common Decency is a study of alienation and connection, of love and grief, written by an author who truly cares about language and understands its power from within. Susannah Dickey is a phenomenal talent and I loved this novel.
    ELIZABETH DAY

About the author

Susannah Dickey

Susannah Dickey grew up in Derry and now lives in London. She is the author of two poetry pamphlets, I had some very slight concerns (2017) and genuine human values (2018). Her poetry has been published in Ambit, The White Review, Poetry Ireland Review and Magma, amongst others. In 2018 she was shortlisted for The White Review short story prize, and in 2017 she was the winner of the inaugural Verve Poetry Festival competition. Her debut novel, Tennis Lessons, was published in July 2020.
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