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Skin, Paper, Stone

Skin, Paper, Stone


by Máire T. Robinson

Exploring the chaos and confusion faced by those in their late twenties with humour, pathos and insightful sensitivity, Skin, Paper, Stone is the first novel by Máire T. Robinson, an exciting new voice in Irish writing.

C-Format, Paperback | 254pp | ISBN: 9781848403581 | Release Date: April 2015

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‘People think that if they go far away they’ll leave the parts of themselves they don’t like behind. But it doesn’t work like that...’

Stevie moves to Galway to pursue her PhD and takes refuge in the city, and in her relationship with Joe Kavanagh, a charismatic but dispirited artist.

Both are looking for something more, but struggle to navigate their way free from the claustrophobia of their lives, the limited circle of acquaintances, the lack of ambition. Escape is the only option, but the surface level of friendliness surrounding them masks a deeper hinterland of jealousy, secrets and violence that can break out at any time.

Exploring the chaos and confusion faced by those in their late twenties with humour, pathos and insightful sensitivity, Skin, Paper, Stone is the first novel by Máire T. Robinson, an exciting new voice in Irish writing.

About the Author

MÁIRE T. ROBINSON lives in Dublin City. She graduated from NUI, Galway in 2008 with a Masters in Writing. Since then, her short stories have been published in the Irish Independent, Horizon Review, Crannóg Magazine, Cuadrivio (in Spanish Translation) and the Chattahoochee Review. Máire was nominated for a Hennessy Literary Award in Emerging Fiction in 2012, and was the overall winner of the Doire Press Chapbook Competition, 2013. Her chapbook of short stories Your Mixtape Unravels My Heart was published by Doire Press in 2013. Skin, Paper, Stone is her first novel.

Praise for Skin, Paper, Stone

Skin, Paper, Stone is a deceptively simple novel that packs a punch. Robinson writes with warmth and understanding, giving the reader a bird’s-eye view of a modern, post-boom Galway through a diverse and credible cast of characters... Another Galway-affiliated writer comes to mind when reading her work. As with Nuala Ní Chonchúir’s most recent novel The Closet of Savage Mementos, Skin gives a convincing version of modern Ireland through the eyes of an insightful woman narrator. The cities of Galway and Dublin come alive in these books. The respective protagonists, Stevie and Lillis, are fully fleshed out, realistic representatives of modern Irish women. Likeable and honest, they share secrets with the reader that they are afraid of sharing with other characters. Themes of motherhood, creativity and past pains are common to both books. Romantic relationships ring true and sex scenes are well handled.
— The Irish Times
There has been such a fierce and exciting steeplechase of new writers attempting to flesh out post-boom Ireland that for a new writer, it might be all too easy to get lost in the skirmish. But Robinson is easily holding her own here, and New Island have once again picked up true potential by the ankles. This is a gimlet-eyed gem of a debut, bringing to mind the vibrancy, bravado and occasional poignancy of Joseph O’Connor’s debut Cowboys & Indians. Unlike those of some of Robinson’s characters, this is a career off to the most auspicious and confident of starts.
— Irish Independent
Brilliantly written, this is a superb take on the apathy wrought by recession in Ireland. Insightful and compelling.
— Irish Examiner
This is not just an average story of boy meets girl or friend becoming foe. It’s a story of cause and effect. How a new friendship can change your perspective on life, how your goal posts can shift as the days and weeks progress. How one persons idea of love is another’s nightmare...There are some razor-sharp observations among the 250 pages of this book. The characters hop off the page and take on a life of their own. Galway is described honestly and without rose-tinted glasses...There is a bohemian feel throughout the book, the characters each having a spirit of freedom that comes with having no responsibility. A mixture of dark comedic scenes, fantastic characters (Gavin, a fellow PhD fellow was just incredibly funny) and powerful writing make this an assertive debut. A new voice in literary fiction, but a confident one.
— Bleach House Library
Skin Paper Stone is another debut novel from an Irish author, but this sensitive exploration of human relationships is...compelling in terms of capturing the nuances of the human condition...As well as an eye for detail and colour, Robinson proves she has an ear for dialect and the colourful peculiarities of conversation. Máire T. Robinson is one of those emerging writers that is set to become a luminary of new Irish literature.’ – Tuam Herald ‘Robinson describes common human experience, such as heartbreak, doubts of self-worth, and the difficulty of actually feeling like an adult with an honesty and clarity that is, at times, striking. Well worth a read.
— The Galway Review
Máire T. Robinson’s début novel sensitively and warmly charts the trials and tribulations of growing up in modern day Ireland...Engaging dialogue is punctuated by hypnotic descriptions of the landscape with Robinson’s narrative gliding through the landscape of Ireland’s Galway - the seemingly endless Galway rain, the churning river and the Atlantic breezes... an engaging début from a promising new Irish voice.
— For Books' Sake