The End of the World Is a Cul de Sac: Stories (Hardcover)

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Brilliant, dark stories of women’s lives by “a very major talent” (Joseph OConnor, 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…

Praise for The End of the World is a Cul de Sac:

“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

“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
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593540923
ISBN-10: 0593540921
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: December 5th, 2023
Pages: 304
Language: English