By: Kevin Curran

Publication Date: 8 June 2023


Youth by Kevin Curran dives into the lives of four teenagers in Ireland’s most diverse town, Balbriggan. Angel is about to finish school and discover if Drill music and YouTube fame can deliver on their promises. Princess is battling to escape her claustrophobic surroundings and go to university and Dean is ready to come out from under his famous father’s shadow, while Tanya, struggling with the spotlight of internet infamy, is still posting her dream life for all of her faithful followers.

Isolated and disorientated by the white noise and seemingly insurmountable expectations of adolescence, our protagonists are desperate to find anything that helps them belong. Oblivious to one another’s presence, potential and struggles, they pass each other on the street as strangers. But when their paths cross, the connections they make will change the course of their lives.

Twenty-first century life – hyper-sexualized, social media saturated, anxiety-plagued – is here. Living inside its characters’ heads, and negotiating their interior landscape, this book is a love song to the possibilities of youth.

Using insights gained from the young people he works with, Curran’s evocative writing yields the authenticity this novel demands. With instinctive affection and admiration for his characters’ strengths and complexities, Youth is a journey through streets less travelled.

Kevin Curran is from Balbriggan and has been a secondary-school teacher in his hometown for over a decade. His fiction largely concentrates on working class life in the Dublin suburbs. His first novel, Beatsploitation, was published in 2013 and brought him national attention due to his depiction of Ireland’s new multicultural landscape. His second novel, Citizens, was published to critical acclaim in 2016, and he has published numerous short stories in major anthologies and literary journals such as The Stinging Fly. He has also written non-fiction for The Guardian and The Observer.

‘Curran animates the precise, minute-to-minute oscillation between triumph and catastrophe that is adolescence. All the embarrassments, missteps, bluffs, and vulnerabilities of youth are here. And all the yearning too.
He captures the voices of a diverse young Ireland, harried by racism, exploitation, and lack of opportunity, battling with itself for itself. His great skill is to carry us along so completely and so confidently, and his affection for his characters is infectious. I’m hoping against hope that these kids will be alright. It could go either way.’ KEITH RIDGWAY

‘Vibrant and immersive – it captures brilliantly the fragile confidence that lies at the heart of youth culture.’ RÓNÁN HESSION

‘Kevin Curran’s twenty-first century … is a thrilling dispatch from life lived amid the ruins of idealism.’ ROB DOYLE

‘Kevin Curran … [writes] with confidence and brio.’ COLIN BARRETT

‘“The isolation of whole communities can be glimpsed through stories of marginalised individuals.” Kevin Curran exemplifies this idea.’ SALLY ROONEY

‘[Curran has] some big things to say about Ireland, past and present.’ THE SUNDAY BUSINESS POST

‘Brings an edge of hard-won resolve to his tale while keeping mindful of broader social issues.’ SUNDAY INDEPENDENT

‘A writer of real perception and sensitivity.’ IRISH INDEPENDENT

‘Razor-sharp contemporary cultural commentary.’ HOT PRESS

Available on backorder

Weight 0.500 kg
Dimensions 216 × 136 mm

Paperback with flaps

Publication Date

8 June 2023