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  • Published: 19 October 2021
  • ISBN: 9781787333581
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $35.00

Life Without Children

Stories




A brilliantly warm, witty and moving portrait of our pandemic lives, told in ten heart-rending short stories

***A GUARDIAN BOOK TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS AUTUMN***

A brilliantly warm, witty and moving portrait of our pandemic lives, told in ten heart-rending short stories

Love and marriage. Children and family. Death and grief. Life touches everyone the same. But living under lockdown, it changes us alone.

In these ten, beautifully moving short stories mostly written over the last year, Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle paints a collective portrait of our strange times. A man abroad wanders the stag-and-hen-strewn streets of Newcastle, as news of the virus at home asks him to question his next move. An exhausted nurse struggles to let go, having lost a much-loved patient in isolation. A middle-aged son, barred from his mother's funeral, wakes to an oncoming hangover of regret.

Told with Doyle's signature warmth, wit and extraordinary eye for the richness that underpins the quiet of our lives, Life Without Children cuts to the heart of how we are all navigating loss, loneliness, and the shifting of history underneath our feet.

'A quietly devastating collection of short stories that brilliantly portrays the pervasive sense of hopelessness that immobilised us during the dog days of Covid' Sunday Times

  • Published: 19 October 2021
  • ISBN: 9781787333581
  • Imprint: Jonathan Cape
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 192
  • RRP: $35.00

About the author

Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of eleven acclaimed novels including The Commitments, The Snapper, The Van and Smile, two collections of short stories, and Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

Also by Roddy Doyle

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Praise for Life Without Children

Life Without Children...displays Doyle's remarkable talent for conveying the strongest of emotions in the simplest of words and the shortest of sentences... It bristles with quietly sharp insights into the shape of a human life.

James Walton, Reader's Digest

Moving...[and] beautiful in its brevity.

Eithne Farry, Daily Mail

Quietly devastating... Doyle's clipped, plain dialogue shivers with emotion.

Philip Womack, Financial Times

[A] gem of a collection... Roddy Doyle's greatest gift has always been for dialogue. He can command the full range of Irish voices and registers, but he has lately put his gifts to use in painting a picture of characters in...their "third age".

Nikhil Krishnan, Daily Telegraph

A quietly devastating collection of short stories that brilliantly portrays the pervasive sense of hopelessness that immobilised us during the dog days of Covid... Silver linings have been hard to find lately, but in Life Without Children Doyle has given us just that

Sunday Times

There is an immediacy to the stories in Life Without Children, an emotional charge that comes with writing in real time, and an optimism too. In the stripping away of everyday anxieties, the virus reveals what matters most, those qualities that are always at the heart of Doyle's fiction: love and connection.

Stephanie Merritt, Observer

A treat for fans of the Booker Prize-winning Irish author... the darkness of the stories, Doyle's lyrical style of wit, passion, and occasional obscene outbursts, shine through... wonderfully uplifting.

UK Press Syndication

As always, Doyle has a great ear for the cadences of Dublin speech, finding humour in even the bleakest situations.

James Moran, Tablet

'Doyle has been writing about men's mental health since long before it was called that, and here he touches on [it]...with his usual tenderness and humour.

Katy Guest, Guardian

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