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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.

Young Irelanders

Young Irelanders


Edited by Dave Lordan

Young Irelanders is an exciting anthology of short stories that will open your eyes and soul to a new and continually evolving Irish literary scene, featuring a selection of Ireland's most gifted and daring contemporary short-fiction writers:

B-Format, Paperback | 254pp | ISBN 9781848404410 | Release Date June 2015

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Young Irelanders is an exciting anthology of short stories that will open your eyes and soul to a new and continually evolving Irish literary scene, featuring a selection of Ireland's most gifted and daring contemporary short-fiction writers:

Sheila Armstrong, Claire-Louise Bennett, Colin Barrett, Kevin Curran, Rob Doyle, Oisín Fagan, Mia Gallagher, Alan McMonagle, Roisín O’Donnell, Cathy Sweeney, Eimear Ryan, Sydney Weinberg.

Young Irelanders reinvigorates the traditional Irish short story with a palpable sense of adventure. From Kevin Curran’s heart-wrenching portrayal of bullying and suicide, to Roisin O’Donnell’s beautifully poignant narrative of a Brazilian girl’s journey to Ireland for love, to Rob Doyle’s searing tale of infidelity, the characters in these tales are searching for love, for courage, for release, and for glory. Surging with an energy and vigour synonymous with this new generation of Irish writers, the stories are in turn profound, shocking, lyrical and dark, while remaining endlessly and exuberantly inventive.

About the Editor

Dave Lordan is a well-known writer, editor, educator and literary commentator. He has previously edited the New Planet Cabaret anthology of emerging Irish writers in association with RTÉ’s Arena. His latest books are Lost Tribe of the Wicklow Mountains (Salmon Poetry, 2014) and First Book of Frags (Wurm Press).


Instead of traditional themes of Mass and rural life, these stories introduce you to immigrant citizens, transgender communities, neglected kids living on the fringes of society, all-knowing taxi drivers, and non-natives trying to grapple with the Irish language...Usually, a collection will have a singular style; but here, experimental prose with dream-like, ethereal qualities is mixed in with flash fiction. There are recurring themes of loss, loneliness, despair, boredom but also elements of fantasy, science-fiction and stream of consciousness works...A good book for those looking to discover bright new Irish talent.
— Sunday Business Post
This current batch of Young Ireland revisit age-old themes – love, infidelity, bullying, self-harm, grief, death – using a variety of techniques and from a variety perspectives, from the modernist style of Claire-Louise Bennett’s impressive Oyster, whose narrative voice recalls the intelligent and eloquent presence evoked in her debut collection, to the short surreal tales of Cathy Sweeney’s Three Stories on a Theme....It all amounts to a collection of stories that are unique in their subject matter, with flashes of those lonely voices emerging from the pages.
— The Irish Times
Anne Enright in her introduction to the Granta Book of the Irish Short Story (2010) writes that short stories are ‘the cats of literary form; beautiful, but a little self-contained.’ The cats in this anthology are a new breed of feline, screeching, feral and howling at times, as in Alan McMonagle’s outstanding story The Remarks; purring enigmatically à la Claire–Louise Bennett’s Oyster, and warring love cats in Rob Doyle’s experimental story Summer... This new wave of Irish writing in the short story tradition shows the form adjusting beautifully to modern Ireland, able to convey a sense of life and reality with stylistic aplomb. The Young Irelanders rebellion of 1848 may have ended in defeat, but this anthology, exhibited with great tenacity by Dave Lordan and New Island, shows that the order is changing. The crown has landed on new heads. If this is a revolution in Irish short fiction, then vive la révolution!
— HeadStuff
The title of this new anthology – which echoes “Young Ireland”, the name given to a movement of the 1840s – seems to suggest that, in Ireland at least, history still has fiction by the throat. Yet the tales that Dave Lordan has collected here are more interested in looking forward than back, offering wry and occasionally compelling insight into the mercurial fortunes of a contemporary and cosmopolitan Ireland.
— Times Literary Supplement
The stories show a fresh view of Éire and it becomes quickly obvious that this is a lovingly edited anthology...The majority of this collection is a wonderful testament to the raw talent that exists on our small Ireland. I have no doubt that some of these writers will become well known names, and hopefully not just in the area of academia or literary circles. They deserve to have their voices heard.
— Bleach House Library
This exciting, celebratory collection … encompasses subjects as wide as bullying, the joys and perils of social media, death, sexuality and grief, some familiar subject matters that have reverberated throughout literature and indeed an Ireland not unknown for shirking morose themes. It highlights a short form continuing to thrive in an Ireland invigorated by new voices using various techniques and perspectives … this is a strong anthology, showcasing uniquely positioned new voices, playing with form and subject matter in equal measure. Ireland is enamoured with the short form and rightly so from this collection.
— Minor Literatures