Small Things Like These


Product Details

$20.00  $18.40
Grove Press
Publish Date
4.9 X 7.4 X 0.8 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

CLAIRE KEEGAN was raised on a farm in Ireland. Her stories have won numerous awards and are translated into more than twenty languages. Antarctica won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and was chosen as a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. Walk the Blue Fields won the Edge Hill Prize for the finest collection of stories published in the British Isles. Foster, after winning the Davy Byrnes Award--then the world's richest prize for a story--was recently selected by The Times UK as one of the top 50 novels to be published in the 21st century. Her stories have been published in the New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, and Best American Stories. Keegan is now holding the Briena Staunton Fellowship at Pembroke College, Cambridge.


Praise for Small Things Like These: "A story that reached so deep I felt the characters moving around inside me. This unforgettable novel is a literary masterpiece and Claire Keegan is one of the world's greatest living writers." --Simon van Booy,

"Small Things Like These is a hypnotic and electrifying Irish tale that transcends country, transcends time. Claire Keegan's sentences make my heart pound and my knees buckle and I will always read everything she writes."--Lily King, author of Writers & Lovers

"In Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan creates scenes with astonishing clarity and lucidity. This is the story of what happened in Ireland, told with sympathy and emotional accuracy. From winter skies to the tiniest tick of speech to the baking of a Christmas cake, Claire Keegan makes her moments real--and then she makes them matter."--Colm Tóibín, author of The Magician

"Small Things Like These is not just about Ireland, it's about the world, and it asks profound questions about complicity, about the hope and difficulty of change, and the complex nature of restitution... A single one of Keegan's grounded, powerful sentences can contain volumes of social history. Every word is the right word in the right place, and the effect is resonant and deeply moving."--Hilary Mantel, author of The Mirror and the Light

"A book that makes you excited to discover everything its author has ever written... Absolutely beautiful."--Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bain

"Marvellous -- exact and icy and loving all at once."--Sarah Moss, author of Ghost Wall

"A true gift of a book... Reading it brings a sublime Chekhovian shock."--Andrew O'Hagan, author of Be Near Me

"I'm now reading it for the third time. This little book moved me so much. And I have been carrying it everywhere with me, underlying favorite passages (too many!). This book is a prayer, an elixir of courage, a school of life, a healing balm for our sorrows, a song to human kindness, and a gift of hope."--Aggie Zivaljevic, Kepler's Books (Menlo Park, CA)

Praise for Walk the Blue Fields:

"The best stories here are so textured and moving, so universal but utterly distinctive, that it's easy to imagine readers savoring them many years from now. And to imagine critics, far in the future, deploying lofty new terms to explain what it is that makes Keegan's fiction work." --Maud Newton, New York Times Book Review

"These stories are pure magic. They add, using grace, intelligence and an extraordinary ear for rhythm, to the distinguished tradition of the Irish short story. They deal with Ireland now, but have a sort of timeless edge to them, making Claire Keegan both an original and a canonical presence in Irish fiction." --Colm Tóibín

"Keegan is that rarest of writers--someone I will always want to read." --Richard Ford, "Best Books of 2007" pick in The Irish Times

"Perfect short stories . . . flawless structure . . . What makes this collection a particular joy is the run and pleasure of the language." --Anne Enright, Guardian

"A young Irish prodigy . . . Writing in a striking, Celtic-slanted prose, Keegan exposes the hearts, hopes and dreams of those in the Irish countryside. . . . The collection unfolds powerfully, with stories that chronicle an isolated young woman's discovery of seemingly magical powers, incest in a desperate Irish farm family and the disintegration of marriages. . . . astonishing." --Alan Cheuse, NPR's All Things Considered

"[Keegan's] . . . collections have drawn comparisons to William Trevor and Anton Chekhov . . . [She] crafts stories out of small details and insight . . . like poetry. . . . Claire Keegan is the real deal." --Keith Donohue, ("You Must Read This")

"[A] stunning second collection . . . Keegan's stories are the literary counterparts to Picasso's Blue Period paintings. . . . Keegan's first collection, Antarctica, led to comparisons with Raymond Carver, but Annie Proulx, with her distilled, poetic prose and attunement to remote landscapes, is a closer match." --Heller McAlpin, San Francisco Chronicle

"These short fictions by the Irish author Claire Keegan haven't a style so much as a microclimate, a chill mist blowing in on a hard wind off the sea. . . . The author's own storytelling powers have darkened and matured since her first collection, as she takes confident command of her craft." --Amanda Heller, The Boston Globe

"Hope lurks somewhere in almost all [Keegan's] stories. . . . You start out on the paths of these simple, rural lives, and not long into each, some bit of rage or unforgivable transgression bubbles up . . . Then the truly amazing happens: Life goes on, limps along, heads for some new chance at beauty." --Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"Walk the Blue Fields may be among the best books you will read this year. . . . Keegan's writing offers stark, intelligent flourishes and a look into the heart of rural Ireland, gurgling with desolate undercurrents." --Vikram Johri, St. Petersburg Times

"Keegan's debut collection, Antarctica, garnered comparisons with fellow Irish author William Trevor. Her follow-up has confirmed that she belongs in that fine story-telling tradition that harks back to Anton Chekhov. Sparse, bleak and unsentimental, her stories suggest that the only thing men and women truly share is the loneliness that confines them." --Angel Gurria-Quintana, Financial Times

"A note-perfect short story is something a very few people can produce. The Irish writer Claire Keegan does it in her second collection of stories. . . . Immaculate structure, a lovely, easy flow of language, and a certain stony-eyed realism about human experience; she is very much part of an Irish tradition, but a unique craftswoman for all that." --Hilary Mantel, New Statesman

"Exquisite stories, so intricately wrought, so strange and beguiling as to entirely bewitch." --The Guardian

"Like Chekhov, Keegan has the ability to sum up a life, or a significant chunk of one, in apparently trivial, quotidian events. . . . in a voice that is lyrical, thoughtful, but with a thick, dark strain of melancholy running through it." --Sunday Independent (5 stars)

"Powerful . . . The two foremost contemporary masters of the [short story] form, Alistair MacLeod and John McGahern, know that tradition can live even in the lament for its passing . . . Claire Keegan is their true successor, a writer already touched by greatness." --Declan Kiberd, The Irish Times