“I felt like we could see everything from up there, the Sputnik television aerials, the hills, the disordered houses, the bogs, all flattened out in front of us. The bloated stink of smoke had wafted down from the fire, along with ginger petal-shavings which drifted lazily in the air, and in the distance, we saw the blue glare of Garda cars.” — from ‘Bonfire’
Join debut author John Patrick McHugh in conversation with festival programmer Mark Ward on his short story collection Pure Gold, which heralds a bright new voice in Irish fiction.
Two boys set fires while their worlds fall apart. A couple drive out to the hills in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage. A horse crashes a house party. Set on an imagined island off the west coast of Ireland, John Patrick McHugh’s debut collection of stories draw a complete community of characters – misdirected, posturing and self-deceiving. But in his fidelity to and compassion for their faults, McHugh embeds us in the moments on which these lives twist and turn, probing unflinchingly what most of us would rather ignore.
John Patrick McHugh is from Galway. His fiction has appeared in Winter Papers, Banshee, The Tangerine, Granta and The Stinging Fly.
Between the Red Lines is an initiative of South Dublin Libraries & Arts.
Order a copy of Pure Gold from our festival bookseller, The Gutter Bookshop. Click here