‘Ireland produces writers the way some countries produce footballers, and the latest is John Patrick McHugh’ Sunday Times
‘One of the most exciting writers working in Ireland today’ SALLY ROONEY, author of Normal People
‘Remarkable, rare and truly brilliant’ MEGAN NOLAN, author of Acts of Desperation
‘Dark, funny, honest and engrossing’ RODDY DOYLE, author of Love
‘Refreshing and ambitious’ LISA MCINERNEY, author of The Rules of Revelation
‘Full of stylish brio’ COLIN BARRETT, author of Young Skins
You had to scrap for love.
In this stunning debut short 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 embeds us in the fragile moments on which a life can twist and turn. Pure Gold heralds the arrival of a thrilling new literary voice.