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.
Pure Gold heralds the arrival of a vibrant new literary voice.
Praise for Pure Gold:
This astonishing collection of stories draws the reader into a world at once familiar and deliciously strange ? the world of a fictional island community off the coast of County Mayo. With an unflinching eye for injustice, cruelty and self-deceit, McHugh nonetheless approaches his cast of characters with a sincere and intelligent compassion. These stories bring to life not only the individual lives of human people, but the collective life of a whole community. In exquisite and arresting prose, this collection makes it clear that John Patrick McHugh is one of the most exciting writers working in Ireland today.
? SALLY ROONEY
McHugh?s stories are full of stylish brio, headlong with energy, and pulse with real feeling and depth. He is a young writer forging a fresh and intense new path through the landscape of Irish letters.
? COLIN BARRETT
I?ve long been an admirer of McHugh?s precise and focused fiction. I?m so excited that these insightful, emotionally intelligent and savagely funny stories will now reach a wider audience. Pure Gold is a striking literary debut.
? NICOLE FLATTERY