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Young Skins: Stories
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Grove Atlantic 2015
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A blockbuster collection from one of Ireland's most exciting young voices. "Sharp and lively . . . a rough, charged, and surprisingly fun read." (Interview) A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree * Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award * Winner of the Guardian First Book Award * Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature Enter the small, rural town of Glanbeigh, a place whose fate took a downturn with the Celtic Tiger, a desolate spot where buffoonery and tension simmer and erupt, and booze-sodden boredom fills the corners of every pub and nightclub. Here, and in the towns beyond, the young live hard and wear the scars. Amongst them, there's jilted Jimmy, whose best friend Tug is the terror of the town and Jimmy's sole company in his search for the missing Clancy kid; Bat, a lovesick soul with a face like "a bowl of mashed up spuds" even before Nubbin Tansey's boot kicked it in; and Arm, a young and desperate criminal whose destiny is shaped when he and his partner, Dympna, fail to carry out a job. In each story, a local voice delineates the grittiness of post boom Irish society. These are unforgettable characters rendered through silence, humor, and violence. "Lyrical and tough and smart . . . What seems to be about sorrow and foreboding turns into an adventure, instead, in the tender art of the unexpected." —Anne Enright, Man Booker Prize Award–winning author "Sometimes comic, sometimes melancholy, Young Skins touches the heart, as well as the mind." —Irish American Post
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/03/2015
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780802192103
ASIN:
B00OV9D9PY
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APA Citation (style guide)

Colin Barrett. (2015). Young Skins: Stories. Grove Atlantic.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Colin Barrett. 2015. Young Skins: Stories. Grove Atlantic.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Colin Barrett, Young Skins: Stories. Grove Atlantic, 2015.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Colin Barrett. Young Skins: Stories. Grove Atlantic, 2015. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Colin Barrett was born in 1982 and grew up in County Mayo. In 2009 he was awarded the Penguin Ireland Prize. His work has been published in A Public Space, The Stinging Fly and in the anthologies, Sharp Sticks, Driven Nails (Stinging Fly Press, 2010) and Town and Country (Faber and Faber, 2013). This is his first book.

      • name: Colin Barrett
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publishDate
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title
Young Skins
fullDescription
A blockbuster collection from one of Ireland's most exciting young voices. "Sharp and lively . . . a rough, charged, and surprisingly fun read." (Interview)

A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree * Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award * Winner of the Guardian First Book Award * Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature

Enter the small, rural town of Glanbeigh, a place whose fate took a downturn with the Celtic Tiger, a desolate spot where buffoonery and tension simmer and erupt, and booze-sodden boredom fills the corners of every pub and nightclub. Here, and in the towns beyond, the young live hard and wear the scars. Amongst them, there's jilted Jimmy, whose best friend Tug is the terror of the town and Jimmy's sole company in his search for the missing Clancy kid; Bat, a lovesick soul with a face like "a bowl of mashed up spuds" even before Nubbin Tansey's boot kicked it in; and Arm, a young and desperate criminal whose destiny is shaped when he and his partner, Dympna, fail to carry out a job. In each story, a local voice delineates the grittiness of post boom Irish society. These are unforgettable characters rendered through silence, humor, and violence.

"Lyrical and tough and smart . . . What seems to be about sorrow and foreboding turns into an adventure, instead, in the tender art of the unexpected." —Anne Enright, Man Booker Prize Award–winning author

"Sometimes comic, sometimes melancholy, Young Skins touches the heart, as well as the mind." —Irish American Post
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times
      • content: "[Young Skins] lives up to its laurels...exact and poetic...One sign of [Barrett's] striking maturity as a writer is that his characters stay in character...A clumsier writer might have made Arm (and other characters besides) an unconvincing juxtaposition of outward violence and inner sentimentality. Mr. Barrett makes him seamless and convincing: brutish but alive...Mr. Barrett does foundational things exceedingly well--structure, choices of (and switches in) perspective--without drawing attention to them. These are stories that are likely to be taught for their form...His judgment is better than authoritative; it is imaginative and enlarging."
      • premium: False
      • source: New Yorker
      • content: "Gritty...the stories often veer off in surprising narrative and stylistic directions...Barrett's voice, though bolstered by Irish tradition, is entirely his own."
      • premium: False
      • source: Interview Magazine
      • content: “Sharp and lively...a rough, charged, and surprisingly fun read."
      • premium: False
      • source: Irish American Post
      • content: "Sometimes comic, sometimes melancholy, Young Skins touches the heart, as well as the mind."
      • premium: False
      • source: Electric Literature
      • content: "Mesmerizing...brutal, linguistically stylish tales of Sisyphean young men, voluntarily trapped within the confines of the fictional west of Ireland town of Glanbeigh."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly (starred, boxed review)
      • content: “The collection's true impact comes in the gifted prose of Barrett, which flourishes in poetic and spare scenes; he is an assured, powerful new literary voice."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal (starred review)
      • content: "Justly acclaimed for his lyrical, deadpan style by some of the giants of contemporary Irish literature, including Anne Enright and Colm Tóibín, Barrett offers an extraordinary debut that heralds a brutal yet alluring new voice in contemporary fiction."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus
      • content: "Barrett knows the woods and roads surrounding Glanbeigh as well as he understands the youth who roam them. This is his territory, his people. He writes with beauty and a toughness that captures the essence of boredom and angst. Barrett has given us moments that resonate true to a culture, a population and a geography that is fertile with the stuff of good fiction."
      • premium: False
      • source: David Means, author of Assorted Fire Events
      • content: "Sharp, edgy, heartrendingly provocative. Colin Barrett is a distinctive, exciting new voice out of Ireland."
      • premium: False
      • source: Sam Lipsyte
      • content: "Young Skins knocked me on my ass. It's moody, funny, vibrant and vivid. It's beautifully compressed and unafraid to take a bruising or lyrical leap. Colin Barrett has, as they say, talent to burn, but I really hope he doesn't waste a drop."
      • premium: False
      • source: Colum McCann
      • content: "Colin Barrett, like all great storytellers, has the ability to weave a broader chronicle of Ireland out of stories that remain intimate, powerful and regional. Out of the local, the universal appears. He defines the many shades of the present time and suggests a compelling future. He is a writer to savour and look out for."
      • premium: False
      • source: Colm Toibín
      • content: "Exciting and stylistically adventurous."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Guardian (UK)
      • content: "Many fiction writers are attracted to non-existent but identifiable settings. Thomas Hardy created Wessex, Robert Musil transformed Austria-Hungary into Kakania, and in Absalom, Absalom! William Faulkner literally mapped his Yoknapatawpha county. At once Lafayette, Mississippi, and not Lafayette, Mississippi, Yoknapatawpha offered readers a familiar setting without the danger of their imaginations snagging on the join between reality and fiction. Colin Barrett confidently secures this same blend of familiarity and freedom with the first line of his debut short-story collection...his stories invite second...
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from January 19, 2015
        Barrett’s accomplished debut collection, winner of the Guardian First Book Award and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award in 2014, brims with young men affixed to bar stools with drained pint glasses, recalling tales of past failures over pub chatter. The stories’ protagonists function on society’s fringes—as bouncers, washed-up musicians, cheap muscle—yet all eschew the single dimension often reserved for such characters, instead speaking in voices both world-weary and wise, equally confident and lost. In “Stand Your Skin,” a disfigured service-station employee attempts to return to his old haunts after he’s invited to a coworker’s going-away party, only to realize he can’t slip into his former self. “Diamonds” finds a recovering alcoholic tempted to fall off the wagon by a new face at his AA meeting and her exotic stories of diamond mines. The centerpiece of the volume is a masterly novella, “Calm with Horses,” that follows a thug nicknamed Arm while he navigates fatherhood and the anguish of his profession as the right-hand man to a local drug dealer. Moments of violence punctuate several of these stories, but the collection’s true impact comes in the gifted prose of Barrett, which flourishes in poetic and spare scenes; he is an assured, powerful new literary voice. Agent: Lucy Luck Associates.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 15, 2015
        A story collection in which the nights of small-town Ireland are filled with the ramblings of restless youth.Glanbeigh is a fictional town in County Mayo, and the teens and 20-somethings are out in droves to take back the night. The pub is the center of their world. In "The Clancy Kid," Jimmy and his mate Tug drink off a hangover and flip the car of an ex's new fiance: "I am young, and the young do not number many here, but it is fair to say we have the run of the place." And so Jimmy sets the hopeless tone, yet there are moments of delight as Tug, a hulk of a boy-man who gets violent when off his meds, plays with a child who guards the bridge to Farrow Hill, playing at being ''king.'' In "Bait," a night of pool hustling turns into sudden violence in a turn-the-tables sexual confrontation. In ''Stand Your Skin, '' Bat is a damaged man, kicked in the head in a pub in a moment of senseless violence between a bunch of college kids and locals. The kicker, "who couldn't stand being in his own skin," commits suicide while Bat has to remain in pain, living in the surgically corrected skin of his own face. This is a powerful dark shadow of a tale, the heart of this collection of six stories and one longer novella. Barrett knows the woods and roads surrounding Glanbeigh as well as he understands the youth who roam them. This is his territory, his people. He writes with beauty and a toughness that captures the essence of boredom and angst. Barrett has given us moments that resonate true to a culture, a population and a geography that are fertile with the stuff of good fiction.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 1, 2014

        Discovered by Kevin Barry, short-listed for the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and for two categories (Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year and Short Story of the Year) at the 2013 Irish Book Awards, boosted as a book to watch by the Guardian, and the recipient of sparkling UK reviews, this collection about struggling souls in small-town, post-boom Glanbeigh, Ireland, should not be missed.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from November 1, 2014

        As we see in the six short stories and novella included here, the residents of the fictional County Mayo town of Glanbeigh are desperate folk. All seem to be on a quest for something unobtainable--understanding, love, redemption--and though the violence running through the streets like a current is tempered by a shared tenderness and humor, Glanbeigh remains a grim place where its unforgettable citizens come to terms with what might have been. For example, Tug, a big man given to bouts of rage, tries to experience normalcy by neglecting to take his meds. Likewise, Bat conceals and maybe protects his gentle nature behind a busted-up face, dirty clothing, and body odor. In the end, Glanbeigh seems to take more from its residents than it gives, with most compensating by honoring an unspoken code of simple decency and a few undermining it at every opportunity. VERDICT Justly acclaimed for his lyrical, deadpan style by some of the giants of contemporary Irish literature, including Anne Enright and Colm Toibin, Barrett offers an extraordinary debut that heralds a brutal yet alluring new voice in contemporary fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 9/15/14.]--John G. Matthews, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2014

        As we see in the six short stories and novella included here, the residents of the fictional County Mayo town of Glanbeigh are desperate folk. All seem to be on a quest for something unobtainable--understanding, love, redemption--and though the violence running through the streets like a current is tempered by a shared tenderness and humor, Glanbeigh remains a grim place where its unforgettable citizens come to terms with what might have been. For example, Tug, a big man given to bouts of rage, tries to experience normalcy by neglecting to take his meds. Likewise, Bat conceals and maybe protects his gentle nature behind a busted-up face, dirty clothing, and body odor. In the end, Glanbeigh seems to take more from its residents than it gives, with most compensating by honoring an unspoken code of simple decency and a few undermining it at every opportunity. VERDICT Justly acclaimed for his lyrical, deadpan style by some of the giants of contemporary Irish literature, including Anne Enright and Colm Toibin, Barrett offers an extraordinary debut that heralds a brutal yet alluring new voice in contemporary fiction. [See Prepub Alert, 9/15/14.]--John G. Matthews, Washington State Univ. Libs., Pullman

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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A blockbuster collection from one of Ireland's most exciting young voices. "Sharp and lively . . . a rough, charged, and surprisingly fun read." (Interview)

A National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Honoree * Winner of the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award * Winner of the Guardian First Book Award * Winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature

Enter the small, rural town of Glanbeigh, a place whose fate took a downturn with the Celtic Tiger, a desolate spot where buffoonery and tension simmer and erupt, and booze-sodden boredom fills the corners of every pub and nightclub. Here, and in the towns beyond, the young live hard and wear the scars. Amongst them, there's jilted Jimmy, whose best friend Tug is the terror of the town and Jimmy's sole company in his search for the missing Clancy kid; Bat, a lovesick soul with a face like "a bowl of mashed up spuds" even before Nubbin Tansey's boot kicked it in; and Arm, a young and...
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tableOfContents

The Clancy Kid
Bait
The Moon
Stand Your Skin
Calm With Horses
Diamonds
Kindly Forget My Existence