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June Caldwell and David Hayden

June Caldwell and David Hayden visit the ILS to discuss their latest volumes of short stories and the short story form.

From one of Ireland’s most grindingly authentic and radically original talents, Caldwell’s Room Little Darker explores the clandestine aspects of modern life through jagged, visceral tales of wanton sex, broken relationships, homelessness and futuristic nightmares.

Caldwell’s modernist style and tendency to switch forms never let the reader rest. Each of her stories announces itself with a bang. The outrageous ideas for the most part have a realistic undertone, grounding Room Little Darker in a world that is oddly, awfully, familiar. An abusive father haunts his daughter and wife from the confines of a nursing home; a couple with an appetite for kink discover their escapades have led them into something unimaginably grim; an addict makes his way around a city centre crackling with menace; an unborn child narrates her own tragic story; a paedophile acquires a sex therapy robot and wonders how they’ll get along. At once hilarious and profoundly moving, June Caldwell’s stories probe raw sexuality and disturbing psychology, the love (and hate) of family, the darkness and light that lives inside us all.

The stories in David Hayden’s Darker With The Lights On are driven ceaselessly, hypnotically forward by a powerful narrative force, the stories in this debut collection pull off that rare trick of captivating the reader, while twisting the form into truly new shapes. Comprising compelling stories made memorable by an imagist’s flair for photographic observation and unsettling, often startling, emotional landscapes, Darker With the Lights On introduces a new and brilliant talent.


June Caldwell | talks
David Hayden | talks


Date and Time:

25 September 2017 at 7:30 pm


1 hour



Irish Literary Society
Bloomsbury Hotel
16-22 Great Russell Street

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