Publisher: New Island
A pair of novellas, set over two pivotal summers in the lives of two young men from Belfast, recall the constraints of the place where they were born and the times in which they are living.
Summer on the Road
It's 1980 and in the last summer before his A levels Mark lands a job he didn't even know he had applied for, sweeping streets for Belfast City Council. Called 'binman' by his schoolfriends, 'snooty' by his workmates, he can't imagine anything less like a holiday. Day by day, though, navigating bomb scares, punishing hangovers, broken television sets and a loving but chaotic home life, he begins to glimpse a path all his own, even if he can't see yet where exactly it is going to lead.
Last Summer of the Shangri-Las
Three years earlier Gem has driven his mother to the brink. She packs him off to stay with his aunt in New York during the infernal heat of the summer of 1977. It's the summer too of disco, of punk, the summer of Sam, and Elvis dead on the bathroom floor. For Gem though it will forever after be the summer he met Vivien – as rooted in the city as he is adrift; the summer he stumbled on Mary, Liz and Margie, three-quarters of the greatest New York group of all (and they'd fight anyone who said otherwise); the summer he learned how to go home.
Capturing the innocence of adolescent boys, their passion, confusion and yearning, Two Summers is for anyone who has ever been young.
Available since: 09/18/2023.
Print length: 208 pages.