Edge Hill Short Story Prize Longlist
Midfield Dynamo Adrian Duncan cover

Midfield Dynamo

Short Stories

By: Adrian Duncan


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.

Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2021 Longlist

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.MICHAEL CRONIN, IRISH TIMES

‘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.’ COLM TÓIBÍN

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

‘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.’ IRISH INDEPENDENT

‘If more men thought and wrote as tenderly and honestly, we’d have
stronger, sturdier novels and fewer garish monuments to consumerism.’ DAVID O’CONNOR, THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT

‘A reflective, beautifully paced novel’ SARAH GILMARTIN, IRISH TIMES

Also available as an ebook


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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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