“Small Things Like These” by Claire Keegan is the January selection for the IrishCentral Book Club.

Each month, we will pick a new Irish book or a great book by an Irish author and celebrate the amazing ability of the Irish to tell a good story for the IrishCentral Book Club.

Throughout January, we’ll be reading the international best-seller “Small Things Like These” by award-winning Irish author Claire Keegan.

Small Things Like These, Claire Keegan's new book, has just been published by #faber!
‘Astonishing… Claire Keegan makes her moments real – and then she makes them matter.’ Colm Tóibín#ckfictionclinic #clairekeegan #irishwriters #creativewriting pic.twitter.com/llSW4kkrrG

— Claire Keegan (@CKeeganFiction) October 15, 2021

Synopsis for “Small Things Like These” by Claire Keegan

It is 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man faces into his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery which forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church.

'Small Things Like These" is a deeply affecting story of hope, quiet heroism, and empathy from one of our most critically lauded and iconic writers.

Reviews for “Small Things Like These” by Claire Keegan

An NPR “Books We Love” of 2021 selection

A Chicago Public Library “Best of the Best” of 2021 selection

"A single one of Keegan’s grounded, powerful sentences can contain volumes of social history. Every word is the right word in the right place, and the effect is resonant and deeply moving." - Hilary Mantel

"This is a tale of courage and compassion, of good sons and vulnerable young mothers. Absolutely beautiful." - Douglas Stuart

"Marvellous—exact and icy and loving all at once." - Sarah Moss

"A haunting, hopeful masterpiece." - Sinéad Gleeson

'Astonishing… Claire Keegan makes her moments real – and then she makes them matter." - Colm Tóibín

"A true gift of a book… a sublime Chekhovian shock." - Andrew O’Hagan

"A moral tale that is unsentimental and deeply affecting, because true and right." - David Hayden

About the author Claire Keegan

Claire Keegan was born in 1968 and grew up on a farm in Wicklow. Her first collection of short stories, Antarctica, was completed in 1998. It announced her as an exceptionally gifted and versatile writer of contemporary fiction and was awarded the Rooney Prize for Literature. Her second short story collection, Walk the Blue Fields, was published to enormous critical acclaim in 2007 and won her the 2008 Edge Hill Prize for Short Stories. Claire Keegan lives in County Wexford, Ireland.

IrishCentral Book Club

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