From 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 the city of Belfast and the women who come from there, while never forgetting what has come before.’
Colin Barrett, Irish Times (full review)
‘Caldwell has produced a collection that feels like a truly unified work of art, and one that demonstrates how all of us, no matter how different we may seem, suffer the same, age-old growing pains.’
Roger Cox, Scotsman (full review)
‘A clear, calm voice in your ear… As carefully designed for coherence as a pre-iTunes LP.’
Anthony Cummins, Telegraph (full review)
‘Affecting and truthful … Caldwell’s poignant stories combine to describe a collection of moments that shape and define us.’
Big Issue in the North
‘Caldwell captures every last sob and spew in a book redeemed by its underlying resilience and exhilarating vividness.’
Phil Baker, Sunday Times