The Boatman and Other Stories

Product Details
Harper Perennial
Publish Date
5.1 X 7.6 X 0.7 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Billy O'Callaghan was born in Cork in 1974, and is the author of three short story collections: In Exile and In Too Deep(2008 and 2009 respectively, both published by Mercier Press), and The Things We Lose, The Things We Leave Behind'(2013, published by New Island Books), which was honoured with a Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Award and which has been selected as Cork's "One City, One Book" for 2017.

His first novel, really a ghost story entitled The Dead House, was published by a small Irish press (Brandon Books/O'Brien Press) in May 2017, and will be published in the U.S. by Arcade in May 2018.

A recipient of the 2013 Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Award for Short Story of the Year, and a 2010 Arts Council of Ireland Bursary Award for Literature, his story, "The Boatman" was recently shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Short Story Award. He has won and been shortlisted for numerous other honours, including the George A. Birmingham Award, the Lunch Hour Stories Prize, the Molly Keane Creative Writing Award, the Sean O'Faolain Award, the RTE Radio 1 Francis MacManus Award, the Faulkner/Wisdom Award, the Glimmer Train Prize and the Writing Spirit Award. He was also short-listed four times for the RTE Radio 1 P.J. O'Connor Award for Drama. He also served as the 2016 Writer-in-Residence for the Cork County Libraries.

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"The Boatman and Other Stories tears at the heartstrings of the reader with each story...An appreciation for life and love shines through...An excellent body of work to be enjoyed." -- San Francisco Book Review

"...deeply affecting stories...the collection's best pieces stay close to home and cleave close to the bone...Low-key, nuanced, moving--an impressive collection." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"This collection of taut, lyrical short stories explores the choices of characters at the limits of emotional and physical extremes... O'Callaghan's affection for the harsh landscape of Ireland is as strong as his knowledge of his flawed and emotionally driven characters, to the point that they seem to grow inevitably out of that misty, unforgiving place." -- Booklist

"Twelve outstanding and often poignant stories from one of Ireland's master storytellers... high quality, literary fiction." -- Fictionophile, at 746 Stories

"Love, bereavement, Paris in the rain give an unforced gravity and lyricism to these stories...which focus on the glimmer of heart in the hardness of life." -- Sunday Times (UK)

"A shining example of how [short stories] can distil and intensify a writer's gifts... These 12 stories confirm [O'Callaghan's] delicate craftsmanship, unflashy narrative and descriptive skill, and his deep understanding of powerful and universal emotions... Breathtaking... Masterly... Irish writing has put out many new and more consciously modernist shoots in recent years, all welcome. But Billy O'Callaghan belongs now in the recognised front rank, along with Bernard MacLaverty, Edna O'Brien, William Trevor and Colm Tóibín." -- The Tablet (UK)