Life Without Children

Life Without Children

Stories

Summary

Love and marriage, children and family, death and grief. Life touches everyone the same, but living under lockdown? It changes us alone.

A man abroad wanders the stag-and-hen-strewn streets of Newcastle, as news of the virus at home asks him to question his next move. An exhausted nurse struggles to let go, having lost a much-loved patient in isolation. A middle-aged son, barred from his mother's funeral, wakes to an oncoming hangover of regret. Told with Doyle's signature warmth, wit and extraordinary eye for the richness that underpins the quiet of our lives, Life Without Children cuts to the heart of how we are all navigating loss, loneliness and the shifting of history underneath our feet.

'Life Without Children is boldly exhilarating, with its revelations of quiet love and the sheer charm of the characters' voices' Sunday Times

'Quietly devastating...shivers with emotion' Financial Times

'In the stripping away of everyday anxieties, the virus reveals what matters most, those qualities that are always at the heart of Doyle's fiction: love and connection' Observer

'Moving...and beautiful' Daily Mail

Reviews

  • A quietly devastating collection of short stories that brilliantly portrays the pervasive sense of hopelessness that immobilised us during the dog days of Covid... Silver linings have been hard to find lately, but in Life Without Children Doyle has given us just that
    Sunday Times

About the author

Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of eleven acclaimed novels including The Commitments, The Snapper, The Van and Smile, two collections of short stories, and Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.
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