From award-winning author Adrian Duncan comes his first collection of astonishing short stories. These modern stories have been written over the past decade, half having been previously published in The Moth, The Stinging Fly, Dublin Review and elsewhere, half completely new. Patterning and happenstance make up the rich quotidian lives of the characters portrayed in these strange, energetic tales. The loose figures of young artists, footballers and artisan engineers act out against diverse backgrounds from Dublin’s northside to Hamburg, Abu Dhabi and Accra, lives tethered yet adrift in a random universe of hard scrabble and occasional illumination. The prose is spare, precise and imagistic, the humour dark and absurdist, shot through with an underlying humanity that has become the trademark of this remarkable writer.
Taking inspiration from his childhood fascination with football team formations, Duncan arranges this collection with an eye to how each piece interacts with the others: ‘While looking at a starting eleven and imagining the team’s possible patterns of movement on the field of play, one question always prevails: What is behind all of this?’
With two novels and one short story collection published in the same number of years, the Lilliput Press is proud to present this new collection as Adrian Duncan quickly gains international attention. Recently winning the inaugural John McGahern Annual Book Prize and being shortlisted for the inaugural Dalkey Literary Award for Emerging Writer, Duncan’s prowess grows with each work.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adrian Duncan, born in County Longford, is a Berlin-based visual artist who originally trained as an engineer. His short fiction has appeared in literary journals both in Ireland and the USA. His acclaimed debut novel, Love Notes from a German Building Site, was published by The Lilliput Press and Head of Zeus in 2019, was shortlisted for the Dalkey Literary Emerging Writer Award and won the inaugural John McGahern Annual Book Prize. His second novel, A Sabbatical in Leipzig, was published by the Lilliput Press in 2020.
PRAISE FOR ADRIAN DUNCAN
‘Love Notes from a German Building Site is written in spare, exact
prose … Duncan writes beautifully about cold weather, gruff manners,
systems of hierarchy. He also writes beautifully about precious time
off, or the occasions when memory takes over … the protagonist is
created in this book with an acute and painstaking emotional accuracy.’ COLM TÓIBÍN
‘A reflective, beautifully paced novel’ SARAH GILMARTIN, IRISH TIMES