Inside Tim Johnston's Irish Girl, readers will find spellbinding stories of loss, absence, and the devastating effects of chance of what happens when the unthinkable bad luck of other people, of other towns, becomes our bad luck, our town. Taut, lucid, and engrossing, provocative and dark and often darkly funny these stories have much to offer the lover of literary fiction as well as the reader who just loves a great story.
"This is white-knuckle prose; it means what it says and it says what it means. Not that I count words, but when an image can be etched in fewer than ten, I sit up and take notice. When an image is limned in fewer than five words, I pretty near shiver. The stories in Irish Girl provide more shiver per page than most stories provide in twenty."—Janet Peery, judge and author of The River Beyond the World
"You have to read closely so as not to miss significant clues in these tightly coiled stories by Katherine Anne Porter Prize winner Johnston (Never So Green), who ventures deeply into the consciousness of Midwesterners to unearth old tensions and buried animosities. These beautifully rendered tales deliver an emotional wallop."—Publisher's Weekly, September 14, 2009
Award-winning writer, David Sedaris, author of Barrel Fever, Naked, Holidays on Ice, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames all New York Times Best Sellers says of Irish Girl, "It's dark in here, but brilliant. Tim Johnston is as wise as he is original, and his stories are impossible to forget."
"Here are eight eerily beautiful stories about people moving through mixed-up, grief-soaked lives. This is terrific story-telling: stark, efficient, devastating."—Anthony Doerr, author of The Shell Collector
"Tim Johnston's characters fight to control their destinies with an elemental ferocity, and carry us along to the kind of dramatic revelations that only the best short story writers have achieved. A brilliantly written collection."—George Cuomo, author of Among Thieves and Trial by Water
"The disturbing force in these stories emerges from Tim Johnston's talent to write about secrets knowingly and about harm carefully. He knows that many times in our tangled stories, the most powerful player may be the missing person."—Ron Carlson, author of The Signal
"Tim Johnston is as extraordinarily facile with words as he is with the wounded, indomitable human spirit: these stories sing."—Mark Wisniewski, author of Confessions of Polish Used Car Salesman
"I tore through this excellent collection. Irish Girl carries a sinister tension and gobs of chilling scenes. All of it balanced by Johnston's hardscrabble poetry. These stories are deeply disturbing and genuinely beautiful."—Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine