The Boatman and Other Stories, by Billy O'Callaghan

The Boatman and Other Stories, by Billy O'Callaghan

Regular price €14.00 Sale price €5.00

The Boatman and Other Stories is a collection of twelve poignant, quietly dazzling, and carefully crafted stories that explore the resiliency of the human heart and its ability to keep beating in the wake of bereavement, violence, lost love, and incomparable trauma and grief.

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 airplane bound for Taipei, The Boatman and Other Stories follows an unforgettable cast of characters.

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 within his reach; a fisherman accustomed to hard labour rolls up his sleeves to dig a grave for his child; and a pair of newlyweds embark on their first adventure, living wild on the deserted Beginish Island.

Ranging from the elegiac to the brutally confrontational, these densely layered tales reveal the quiet heroism and gentle dignity of ordinary life. Billy O’Callaghan is a master celebrant of the smallness of the human flame against the dark: its strength and its steady brightness.

“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

“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