The Boatman and Other Stories
The breathtaking short story collection from the Costa-shortlisted Irish writer
Three gunshots on the Irish border define the course of a young man's life; a writer clings fast to a star-crossed affair with a woman who has never been fully in his reach; a fisherman accustomed to hard labour rolls up his sleeves to dig a grave for his child; a pair of newly-weds embark on their first adventure, living wild on the deserted Beginish Island.
Spanning a century and two continents - from the muddy fields of Ireland to a hotel room in Paris, a dingy bar in Segovia to an aeroplane bound for Taipei - these densely layered tales reveal the quiet heroism and gentle dignity of ordinary life. Ranging from the elegiac to the brutally confrontational, Billy O'Callaghan's stories explore the resilience of the human heart and its ability to keep beating even in the wake of grief, trauma and lost love.
'The best fiction I have read this year... Taut, subtle and moving, and brought off beautifully' John Banville, Best Books of 2020, Irish Times