Exciting Times

Naoise Dolan (Author)


"This debut novel about an Irish expat millennial teaching English and finding romance in Hong Kong is half Sally Rooney love triangle, half glitzy Crazy Rich Asians high living--and guaranteed to please." --Vogue

The New York Times Book Review * Vogue * TIME * Marie Claire * Elle * O, the Oprah Magazine * Esquire * Harper's Bazaar * Bustle * PopSugar * Refinery 29 * LitHub * Debutiful

An intimate, bracingly intelligent debut novel about a millennial Irish expat who becomes entangled in a love triangle with a male banker and a female lawyer

Ava, newly arrived in Hong Kong from Dublin, spends her days teaching English to rich children.

Julian is a banker. A banker who likes to spend money on Ava, to have sex and discuss fluctuating currencies with her. But when she asks whether he loves her, he cannot say more than I like you a great deal.

Enter Edith. A Hong Kong-born lawyer, striking and ambitious, Edith takes Ava to the theater and leaves her tulips in the hallway. Ava wants to be her--and wants her.

And then Julian writes to tell Ava he is coming back to Hong Kong... Should Ava return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with Edith?

Politically alert, heartbreakingly raw, and dryly funny, Exciting Times is thrillingly attuned to the great freedoms and greater uncertainties of modern love. In stylish, uncluttered prose, Naoise Dolan dissects the personal and financial transactions that make up a life--and announces herself as a singular new voice.

--Refinery 29

Product Details

$27.99  $25.75
Ecco Press
Publish Date
June 02, 2020
6.0 X 1.1 X 8.5 inches | 0.9 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Naoise Dolan is an Irish writer born in Dublin. She studied English literature at Trinity College Dublin and Oxford University. Exciting Times is her first novel, an excerpt from which was published in The Stinging Fly by Sally Rooney.


"Wry, stylish.... In this witty satire of the haves and have nots, Dolan explores tender, insightful truths about the vagaries of modern love."
"[A] wry, tender debut.... Dolan's smart, brisk debut works as a charming comedy of manners."--Publishers Weekly
"A love story packed with irony and introspection."--Elle
"A funny, smart, contemporary love story."--Sunday Times (London)
"Whipsmart... A modern love story... Exciting Times is an impressive, cerebral debut written with brio and humour... The observations are keen, heartfelt and delivered in a brutally nonchalant style... Heralding for sure a new star in Irish writing."--Irish Times
"Half Sally Rooney love triangle, half glitzy Crazy Rich Asians high living--and guaranteed to please."
"Echoes of Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends resound in this exacting debut novel about a young Irish woman living in Hong Kong who becomes embroiled in a love triangle with a wealthy man and woman."--O, the Oprah Magazine
"Dazzling... With Exciting Times comes a rare and indeed exciting talent, a cacophony of our times, a treat for the socially distanced."--Irish Independent
"Droll, shrewd and unafraid--a winning debut."--Hilary Mantel
"Hands down one of the most anticipated debuts of the year ... A piercingly provocative look at modern love and power games."--Book Riot
"Dolan's preoccupation with power is often couched in humor but always expertly observed. Her elegantly simple writing allows her ideas and musings to shine. A refreshingly wry and insightful debut."--Kirkus Reviews
"Fiercely intelligent, brutally funny and written with such heart, Exciting Times announces an impressive new voice in literature."--Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall
"[Exciting Times] teems with insight around class, race, language and sexuality. Likely to fill the Sally-Rooney-shaped hole in many readers' lives."--Irish Times
"Very funny... Extremely sharp - both cutting and tart... A bracing, refreshing first novel."--Observer
"Exciting Times is constant fun."--Telegraph (UK)