Young Skins

Young Skins


By Colin Barrett

Grove Press, Black Cat, Paperback, 9780802123329, 224pp.

Publication Date: March 3, 2015

A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree
Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the "Guardian" First Book Award, and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature
Enter the small, rural town of Glanbeigh, a place whose fate took a downturn with the Celtic Tiger, a desolate spot where buffoonery and tension simmer and erupt, and booze-sodden boredom fills the corners of every pub and nightclub. Here, and in the towns beyond, the young live hard and wear the scars. Amongst them, there's jilted Jimmy, whose best friend Tug is the terror of the town and Jimmy's sole company in his search for the missing Clancy kid; Bat, a lovesick soul with a face like a bowl of mashed up spuds even before Nubbin Tansey's boot kicked it in; and Arm, a young and desperate criminal whose destiny is shaped when he and his partner, Dympna, fail to carry out a job. In each story, a local voice delineates the grittiness of post boom Irish society. These are unforgettable characters rendered through silence, humor, and violence.
Told in Barrett's vibrant, distinctive prose, "Young Skins" is an accomplished and irreverent debut from a singular new voice in contemporary fiction.

About the Author
Colin Barrett was born in 1982 and grew up in County Mayo, Ireland. In 2009 he was awarded the Penguin Ireland Prize. His stories have appeared in Stinging Fly magazine, A Public Space, Five Dials, and the New Yorker. This is his first book.

Sunday, Oct 25, 2015

Colin Barrett's debut collection deals with some dismal topics. But Tessa Hadley, who picked the book for our Weekend Reads series, praises the Irish writer's "lovely, high-flown, playful" writing. More at

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