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?’