'One of the most exciting writers working in Ireland today' Sally Rooney
'Dark, funny, honest and engrossing' Roddy Doyle
'Refreshing and ambitious' Lisa McInerny
'Full of stylish brio' Colin Barrett
Pure Gold heralds the arrival of a vibrant new literary voice
You had to scrap for love.
In this stunning debut story collection exploring betrayal and longing on an imagined island off the west coast of Ireland, John Patrick McHugh takes us deep into a community of individuals who are lost, yearning, and self-deceiving. We see two boys set fires while their worlds fall apart, follow a couple driving out to the hills in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage, watch a widow seek a stranger's help to bury her grief, see a horse crash a house party. Whether falling in love or turning on one another the residents here are united by a quest for connection in the treacherous waters of small-town boredom.
In stories that are bitterly funny, profoundly moving and crackling with wild energy, McHugh casts a compassionate eye on masculinity, violence, and class, and embeds us in the fragile moments on which a life can twist and turn.