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Life Without Children by Roddy Doyle
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Life Without Children by Roddy Doyle
Feb 22, 2022 | ISBN 9780593300565

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  • Feb 22, 2022 | ISBN 9780593300565

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Advance praise for Life Without Children:

“There is an immediacy in the stories in Life Without Children, an emotional charge that comes with writing in real time, and an optimism too.  In the stripping away of everyday anxieties, the virus reveals what matters most, those qualities that are always at the heart of Doyle’s fiction:  love and connection, however clumsily expressed . . . more than anything, these stories are about the vital importance of communicating with one another before it’s too late.”The Guardian

“The pandemic haunts these stories, rarely taking center stage but always felt, always making everything unsteady, unreal, displaced, weirdly familiar/unfamiliar . . . They cut so close to the bone of the way we live now . . . Doyle is too smart to make COVID merely a crude metaphor for private domestic suffering, but he’s bold enough to use it to amplify personal anguish . . . If anyone asks you, months or years from now, what was it like, make them read Life Without Children. It’s an honest record.” Daily Beast

“Full of drama and pathos—bringing us humor and love amid the gloom . . . Roddy Doyle, the undisputed laureate of ordinary lives, has just delivered a quietly devastating collection of short stories that brilliantly portrays the pervasive sense of hopelessness that immobilized us during the dog days of Covid . . . Doyle breaks our free fall into despair by emphasizing the redemptive power of humor, love and the kindness of strangers. Silver linings have been hard to find lately, but in Life Without Children Doyle has given us just that.” The Sunday Times

“Doyle’s superb stories, set in the pandemic, pinpoint the joys and sorrows of people in their 60s . . . Doyle’s greatest gift has always been for dialogue. He can command the full range of Irish voices and registers . . . Doyle does not abhor sentimentality. A single sentence, a brief exchange, can raise a laugh and a lump in the throat . . . The wisdom in Doyle’s writing is the wisdom of this acknowledgement: that to wish to be free of everything that makes one prey to sentimentality and cliché (the love of one’s children chief among them) is to wish to be free of what makes fiction possible.” —The Telegraph

“Doyle’s accomplished collection probes the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on a series of marriages . . . A master of dialogue—whether strained, deceptive, or free-flowing—Doyle has a keen eye for the interconnectedness and the criticality of communication, which makes these stories shimmer. Doyle’s raw portrayal of living and loving under lockdown has a deep resonance.” Publishers Weekly

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