Midfield Dynamo Adrian Duncan cover

Midfield Dynamo

Short Stories

By: Adrian Duncan

Publication Date: 18 March 2021


Midfield Dynamo by Adrian Duncan

Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2021 Longlist

From award-winning author Adrian Duncan comes his first collection of astonishing short stories. These modern stories have been written over the past decade, half having been previously published in The Moth, The Stinging Fly, Dublin Review and elsewhere, half completely new. Patterning and happenstance make up the rich quotidian lives of the characters portrayed in these strange, energetic tales. The loose figures of young artists, footballers and artisan engineers act out against diverse backgrounds from Dublin’s northside to Hamburg, Abu Dhabi and Accra, lives tethered yet adrift in a random universe of hard scrabble and occasional illumination. The prose is spare, precise and imagistic, the humour dark and absurdist, shot through with an underlying humanity that has become the trademark of this remarkable writer.

Taking inspiration from his childhood fascination with football team formations, Duncan arranges this collection with an eye to how each piece interacts with the others: ‘While looking at a starting eleven and imagining the team’s possible patterns of movement on the field of play, one question always prevails: What is behind all of this?’

With two novels and one short story collection published in the same number of years, the Lilliput Press is proud to present this new collection as Adrian Duncan quickly gains international attention. Recently winning the inaugural John McGahern Annual Book Prize and being shortlisted for the inaugural Dalkey Literary Award for Emerging Writer, Duncan’s prowess grows with each work.

Watch the launch of Midfield Dynamo with Cathy Sweeney, author of Modern Times, and Adrian Duncan, here.


Adrian Duncan, born in County Longford, is a Berlin-based visual artist who originally trained as an engineer. His short fiction has appeared in literary journals both in Ireland and the USA. His acclaimed debut novel, Love Notes from a German Building Site, was published by The Lilliput Press and Head of Zeus in 2019, was shortlisted for the Dalkey Literary Emerging Writer Award and won the inaugural John McGahern Annual Book Prize. His second novel, A Sabbatical in Leipzig, was published by the Lilliput Press in 2020.


‘Adrian Duncan’s arresting new collection of stories consolidates his reputation as one of the most captivating and distinctive voices in contemporary Irish writing … a writer with an exciting attention to the formal possibilities of fiction and an unfailing eye for neglected details that shore up a life.’ MICHAEL CRONIN, IRISH TIMES

‘There’s a real artist at work here’ PAT CARTY, HOT PRESS

Read an extract from Midfield Dynamo on THE JOURNAL here

‘Exhilarating … These stories seek and discover scenes of beauty – in the process permitting notes of lyricism to earn their place – in overlooked and distinctly unglamorous contexts, to deeply moving effect … in Midfield Dynamo, as in Duncan’s novels, the structures of life must not only be built but endlessly renewed and maintained – and this process, this world of construction, is the point of it all, and the reward.’ NEIL HEGARTY, DUBLIN REVIEW OF BOOKS

‘One of the most interesting Irish writers at work today’ NIAMH DONNELLY, IRISH INDEPENDENT

‘Lyrical, bizarre and mystifying … will remind readers of Claire Keegan’s short stories, mixed with a little splash of Kevin Barry’s style’ LITVOX

‘Remarkable … these 12 haunting, curious tales have settings as diverse as coastal Ireland, post-Wall Berlin and Abu Dhabi.’ ALEXANDER WELLS, EXBERLINER

‘These understated and immensely compassionate stories make a gem of a collection’ ANNE CUNNINGHAM, MEATH CHRONICLE

Read an extract from Midfield Dynamo on RTÉ here

An interview with Adrian and Breda Brown on INSIDE BOOKS

Recommended reading on RTÉ Today with Maura and Dáithí

‘A very impressive book of short stories which shine a light on the strangeness and absurdities of the modern world’ MATTHEW GEDEN, IRISH EXAMINER

‘Recalling James Joyce’s Dubliners, and the punctuation of tough, ordinary, quotidian lives with occasional bursts of illumination and epiphany, Midfield Dynamo is beautiful in its sparse, humorous prose, born of a gruff, masculine tradition of Irish literature.’ EVA WALL, EXTRA.IE

Also available as an ebook

6 reviews for Midfield Dynamo

  1. Lilliput Press

    A reflective, beautifully paced novel.


  2. Lilliput Press

    If more men thought and wrote as tenderly and honestly, we’d have stronger, sturdier novels and fewer garish monuments to consumerism.


  3. Lilliput Press

    A Sabbatical in Leipzig is a masterclass in [looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary]: a stunning example of paying attention to the minutest of details and looking at the world with keen eyes and a quiet but curious mind.


  4. Lilliput Press

    Precise and penetrating prose … A Sabbatical in Leipzig is a
    quietly compelling novel from a writer of real daring and poise.


  5. Lilliput Press

    Love Notes from a German Building Site is written in spare, exact prose … Duncan writes beautifully about cold weather, gruff manners, systems of hierarchy. He also writes beautifully about precious time off, or the occasions when memory takes over … the protagonist is created in this book with an acute and painstaking emotional accuracy.


  6. Lilliput Press

    Adrian Duncan’s arresting new collection of stories consolidates his reputation as one of the most captivating and distinctive voices in contemporary Irish writing.


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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 216 × 136 mm
Publication Date

18 March 2021

Page Count



Paperback, Softback

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