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New Island publishes some of the best fiction written in Ireland. From literary fiction and short stories, to chilling crime, you’ll always find a book to transport you.

Cocktail Bar

Cocktail Bar

11.95

by Norah Hoult

Throughout these tales, Hoult reveals the contemporary realities of class and disability, office politics and women’s lives, with a sharp gaze and a gentle touch. Beautifully observed and remarkably crafted, exact and unflinching, Cocktail Bar is a modern Irish classic.

B-Format, Paperback | 224pp | ISBN: 9781848406667 | Release Date: February 2018

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Originally published in 1950, Cocktail Bar is a brilliantly incisive collection of short stories, far ahead of its time, which illuminates the small, unspoken intricacies of human relationships. From an immigrant household in London preparing to organise a ‘proper Irish wedding’ to a domineering society matron running her upper-class neighbourhood with an iron fist; from a fashionable young woman wants to be charitable towards her old and poor aunt to an Irish girl must decide between a promising future in America and marriage to her long-time beau. Throughout these tales, Hoult reveals the contemporary realities of class and disability, office politics and women’s lives, with a sharp gaze and a gentle touch. Beautifully observed and remarkably crafted, exact and unflinching, Cocktail Bar is a modern Irish classic.

Praise for Norah Hoult

Hoult is an Irish writer who has all but been forgotten. It’s time to renew the readership of this forceful wordsmith.’ – Books Ireland ‘In single sentences or short, almost throwaway asides, she can distil the very essence of her characters… New Island Books and Sinead Gleeson are to be warmly commended for resurrecting this fine collection and one can only hope that a renewed interest in Norah Hoult will see more of her out of print books enjoying a well-deserved renaissance.
— Irish Independent
Her short stories are far away the best I have read this year – in fact, no comparison is possible, for I know of nothing written of late years with which to compare them. They are the unique manifestations which genius always gives us.’ – H.M. Tomlinson (1931) ‘Few writers possess keener powers of observation or bring to the use of them a wider compassion. … She has the gift too of writing dialogue, every word of which advances our knowledge of her characters, and there is no talking for talk’s sake. This is as it should be, but how rare it is to find it.
— The Sunday Times
Miss Hoult seems to go into the marrow of her characters … There are kindliness, tenderness and compassion for the inevitable sadness and frustration of life in everything she writes.
— The Times
Discerning, versatile and sympathetic, Miss Hoult is never at a loss for a subject, never betrayed into sentimentality or a false conclusion.
— The Times Literary Supplement