Multitudes: eleven stories

MultitudeFrom Belfast to London and back again the eleven stories that comprise Caldwell’s first collection explore the many facets of growing up – the pain and the heartache, the tenderness and the joy, the fleeting and the formative – or ‘the drunkenness of things being various’.

Stories of longing and belonging, they culminate with the heart-wrenching and unforgettable title story.

Praise for “Multitudes”

‘An underhyped Irish writer? They do exist. Lucy Caldwell … writes an understated, conversational prose that never advertises itself unduly … Multitudes is her debut collection, and it’s brilliant … Like Joyce’s Dubliners, Multitudes begins with stories of childhood, moves on through stories of adolescence, and ends with stories of maturity.’
Kevin Power, Sunday Business Post

‘ The stories in Multitudes collectively work as a sort of kaleidoscopic bildungsroman … a lively, humane book, gritty but wholehearted, and it offers an ultimately optimistic, progressive vision for … Read more

‘Everything you write requires a portion of your soul, I think, to make it live’

Lucy Caldwell, whose collection Multitudes was published yesterday, opens up about it and her adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters to fellow Belfast writer Paul McVeigh

(from The Irish Times)
Lucy_Caldwell_portraitWere you always going to be a writer?
It seems so – I wrote my first “novel”, “the robin’s party”, when I was 4½. My Mum says that before I could even write I would ask her to fold pages up to look like books, and tell her what words I wanted in them. I made a programme recently about the Brontë siblings – who were half-Irish, as people often forget – and was digging around in my parents’ attic in search of my own “juvenilia” (not to glorify it with such a word!) and I found boxes and boxes of the “books” and “magazines” I used to make for my sisters, thick chronicles of our imaginary worlds and the genealogies … Read more

Cyprus Avenue

cyprusOn April 1, BBC broadcast Cyprus Avenue, one of the stories from Lucy’s anthology Multitudes. The story was read by Laura Pyper and the programme was produced by Heather Larmour.

Cyprus Avenue tells of a chance meeting at the airport awaiting an increasingly-delayed flight sees a young couple discover they have childhood histories – and family tragedies – in common, growing up on the streets of East Belfast, experiences which have defined every aspect of their lives, not least their relationship to the city they once called home. But as they journey back to Belfast, to their families and to the reminders of the past, they slowly begin to look to the future.

‘Cyprus Avenue’ is included in Lucy’s forth-coming debut short story collection ‘Multitudes’ to be published by Faber on 5th May

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Granta 135: New Irish Writing

Granta New Irish WritingGranta 135 is a snapshot of contemporary Ireland, which shows where one of the world’s most distinguished and independent literary traditions is today. Here international stars rub shoulders with a new generation of talent from a country which keeps producing exceptional writers.

This issue features Lucy Caldwell imagining forbidden first love in Belfast; Kevin Barry on Cork, ‘as intimate and homicidal as a little Marseille’; an exclusive extract of Colm Tóibín’s next novel, about growing up in the shadow of a famous father; fiction from Emma Donaghue about Victorian Ireland’s miraculous fasting girls; and Sara Baume describing the wild allure and threat of the rural landscape.

Also featuring fiction from Colin Barrett, John Connell, Mary O’Donoghue, Roddy Doyle, Siobhán Mannion, Belinda McKeon, Sally Rooney, Donal Ryan and William Wall; poetry from Tara Bergin, Leontia Flynn and Stephen Sexton; photography by Doug DuBois, Stephen Dock and Birte Kaufmann; with original portraits … Read more

The Long Gaze Back

The Long Gaze BackLucy Caldwell’s work is included in “The Long Gaze Back, edited by Sinéad Gleeson, an exhilarating anthology of thirty short stories by some of the most gifted women writers this island has ever produced.

Published on September 10, 2015 the publisher, New Island, says:

“Taken together, the collected works of these writers reveal an enrapturing, unnerving, and piercingly beautiful mosaic of a lively literary landscape. Spanning four centuries, The Long Gaze Back features 8 rare stories from deceased luminaries and forerunners, and 22 new unpublished stories by some of the most talented Irish women writers working today. The anthology presents an inclusive and celebratory portrait of the high calibre of contemporary literature in Ireland.

These stories run the gamut from heartbreaking to humorous, but each leaves a lasting impression. They chart the passions, obligations, trials and tribulations of a variety of vividly-drawn characters with unflinching honesty and relentless compassion.”Read more

Killing Time

allirelandLucy Caldwell’s short story “Killing Time”, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Canada & Europe) 2014 has just been published in the anthology “All Over Ireland”, edited by Deirdre Madden. Max Liu, in the Independent, wrote:

“The bar is set high for the fifth instalment in Faber & Faber’s new Irish short stories series, not only by the standard of previous volumes… All Over Ireland (Faber, £9.99) features contributions from new and established writers, from Andrew Fox, whose first collection appeared earlier this year, to Colm Tóibín’s “The Journey to Galway”, a powerful meditation on grief and Irish history. Other standouts include “Killing Time”, Lucy Caldwell’s story of a child who may or may not have taken an overdose of painkillers, Mary Morrissy’s “Emergency” and Selina Guinness’ “The Weather Project”.

The collection’s editor Deidre Madden notes that “emigration features in several of the stories” as authors take us to … Read more

Short fiction – Blanc et Noir

beta-life Two new stories by Lucy Caldwell have been commissioned to appear in very different anthologies, both published in November 2014.

Beta Life

Beta Life: Stories from an A-Life Future (published by Comma Press) is a collection of speculative fiction imagining possible worlds in which artificial intelligence (A-Life), material evolution and swarm intelligence diverge and disperse into a balanced ecosystem of humans and robotic objects. These fictions focus on how humans will change in the way they interact with technology, the roles they adopt in an increasingly ‘intelligent’ environment, and how we interface with each other.. The anthology brings together scientists and authors, working in pairs, to imagine what life (and A-Life) will look like in the year 2070. Every kind of technology is imagined: from lie-detection glasses to military swarmbots, brain-interfacing implants to synthetically ‘grown’ skyscrapers, revolution-inciting computer games to synthetically engineered haute cuisine. All artificial life is here

BelfastNoir1-509x800Belfast

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