“Kennedy displays why she was able to make her name, writing with a delicateness that articulates a great love for these characters as they weave through domestic peril. Her ability to fit complex characters into a short window is remarkable.”
— Richard Dixon, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
Brilliant, dark stories of women’s lives by “a very major talent” (Joseph O’Connor, Irish Times)
In these visceral, stunningly crafted stories by the author of the much-acclaimed Trespasses, women’s lives are etched by poverty—material, emotional, sexual—but also splashed by beauty, sometimes even joy, as they search for the good in the cards they’ve been dealt.
A wife is abandoned by her new husband in a derelict housing estate, with blood on her hands. An expectant mother’s worst fears about her husband’s entanglement with a teenage girl are confirmed. A sister is tormented by visions of the man her brother murdered during the Troubles. A woman struggles to forgive herself after an abortion threatens to destroy her marriage. Plumbing the depths of intimacy, violence, and redemption, these stories are “dazzling, heartbreaking . . . keen to share the lessons of a lifetime” (Guardian).
About the Author
Louise Kennedy grew up near Belfast. The author of the novel Trespasses, she has written for The Guardian, The Irish Times, and BBC Radio 4. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a chef for almost thirty years. She lives in Sligo, Ireland.
Praise for The End of the World is a Cul de Sac:
“These gritty stories are marked by dark wit and avid artistry. . . . Literature with backbone.” —Boston Globe
“These are lives in progress, bolstered by richly imagined back stories, that we dip into for a critical moment or stage…Kennedy packs these stories with life. . . entrancing.” —Star-Tribune
“This taut, sometimes surreal collection is all about women's lives and it dives to gut-twisting depths and soars to dizzying heights. Perfect for women and anyone who's ever met one.” —Good Housekeeping
“Irish in its lyricism and landscape, universal in its portrayal of the vagaries of the heart.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Incisive stories [of] women at precipitous turning points in their lives. … Each story reverberates with a sense of the far-reaching effect of choices made or imposed. It adds up to a remarkable and cohesive collection.” —Publishers Weekly
“Like fifteen novels squeezed between two covers, ready to blow your mind. The only other writer I can think of who packs this much moving, terrible life into each story is Alice Munro.” —Emma Donoghue
“Dazzling, heartbreaking . . . these fifteen taut tales recall Annie Proulx at her best: salty, wise, droll and keen to share the lessons of a lifetime.” —Guardian
“Gritty, bitter, hard-won. . . Kennedy's voice, and her unforgiving gaze, are electric.” —Sunday Times (London)
“I love Kennedy's vividly conjured reality. Her prose is so alive, I am surprised that the book stays shut when you close it.” —Anne Enright
“Darkly funny, beautifully crafted, intense - this is an outstanding first collection from a natural story writer” —Kevin Barry