By: Jarlath Gregory

Publication Date: July 2001

(3 customer reviews)


Snapshots by Jarlath Gregory

‘Nothing is fair in love and war. When has it ever been? But make sure you win. That is, after all, what everybody wants. I thought that when I fell in love I’d leave a lot of death behind. But love isn’t pure and shiny. It doesn’t make you happy. Love is war.’

‘Love is war’ – and never more so than when you’re young, gay, and trapped ‘between the cracks of society’ in troubled ceasefire Crossmaglen. Marking the debut of a stunning new voice in contemporary fiction, Snapshots tells the story of Oisin Grant’s struggles to assert the truth of his emotional and sexual identity against the backdrop of a land still haunted by the shadow of a gunman and still bound by the compassionless shackles of a conservative Catholicism.

Bold, frank and iconoclastic, Snapshots by Jarlath Gregory imaginatively crosses and subverts political and personal borders. Erotic obsession, teenage friendships, wild student parties, art, family strife, grief and republican violence are just some of the potent elements in a novel that shatters sexual and stylistic convention to probe to the heart of what it means to simply be yourself in a world where everybody wants you to be something you’re not.

Tender, angry, humerous, and beautifully realized, this audacious first novel perfectly captures the pain of young adult relationships.

‘Truly an outstanding piece of literature that many people should read.’ Customer review


Jarlath Gregory is from Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh. He currently lives in Dublin. He is the author of Snapshots (Sitric) and G.A.A.Y. Read more.


3 reviews for Snapshots

  1. Lilliput Press

    “A stereotypical first novel ‘Snapshots’ is most definitely not. Dealing with the realisation of sexuality within a community focused on the Northern Ireland situation, the novel refutes cliches. The split narrative aligns our perspective with the inner turmoil of youth coming to terms with individualism. Oisin and Jude provide the main voices of the narrative, yet snapshots of their lives are all we are allowed to see. The issue of homosexuality is most definitely not exploited by the writer, although the characters see it as a force of both sexual repression and freedom. Self and the awareness of identity are seen through the eyes of a family representative of social opinions. Snapshots provides us with a view of love through a lens for essentially it is a love story. For a first time writer, Jarlath Gregory has done exactly what his characters have done; he is most certainly a writer everyone should read and re-read again and again.”

  2. Lilliput Press

    “writing is impecable, funny and a little sad. the author has managed to make small situations which all of us have gone through while growing up into key life moments. the book is not about the troubles, its not about gay sex, its about real people in ‘real’ situations [as odd as some of them may seem]. brilliant.”

  3. Lilliput Press

    “My two favorite fiction topics are gay genere and Irish culture, so when I was searching the lgbt section at BooksUpstairs in Dublin and saw this novel that deals with both, I knew I had to read it. Having heard nothing about the book or the author, my expectations were not high, but I thought it might be a pleasant summer read. Instead I was rewarded with an incredible work — truly an outstanding piece of literature that many people should read. It does have some gay themes, and it does take place against the backdrop of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, but the book truly deals with many, many other things — identity, conflict, individuality, love, experimentation, fear, coming of age, and others. One of the things that is amazing about this book is the way that all of these topics blend, merge, feed off of each other in a way that makes for a seamless, masterful work of fiction that will speak, in a variety of ways, to everyone. Another thing that is marvelous about this book is the writing. Jarleth Gregory is a star in the making. He is another of the young Irish masters, such as Roddy Doyle, Robert McLiam Wilson, and Jamie O’Neill, who are upholding the tradition of outstanding Irish literature. In my view, Jarleth Gregory may be the best of all of them. He might compare most to Wilson, and specifically his book Eureka Street because of the young, edgey characters trying to navigate life in complex Northern Ireland, but in my view Snapshots much better than Eureka Street and deserves to be read by any fan of excellent literature.”

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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 135 × 215 mm
Publication Date

July 2001


Paperback, 204pp