Caoilinn Hughes The Wild Laughter


Code 9781786078599
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An Irish Times, Irish Sunday Times, Irish Independent, & Sunday Independent Book of the Year 2020

Nominated for Novel of the Year at the Irish Books Awards; and shortlisted for the Dalkey Literary Awards 2021

It's 2008, and the Celtic Tiger has left devastation in its wake. Brothers Hart and Cormac Black are waking up to a very different Ireland - one that widens the chasm between them and brings their beloved father to his knees. Facing a devastating choice that risks their livelihood, if not their lives, their biggest danger comes when there is nothing to lose.

A sharp snapshot of a family and a nation suddenly unmoored, this epic-in-miniature explores cowardice and sacrifice, faith rewarded and abandoned, the stories we tell ourselves and the ones we resist. Hilarious, poignant and utterly fresh, The Wild Laughter cements Caoilinn Hughes' position as one of Ireland's most audacious, nuanced and insightful young writers.

About the Author

Caoilinn Hughes' first novel, Orchid & the Wasp (2018), won the Collyer Bristow Prize 2019, was shortlisted for the Hearst Big Book Awards and the Butler Literary Award, and longlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award and the International DUBLIN Literary Award 2020. Her poetry collection, Gathering Evidence (Carcanet 2014), won the Irish Times Strong/Shine Award. Her short fiction won The Moth Short Story Prize 2018, a 2019 O. Henry Prize, and the Irish Book Awards Story of the Year 2020. The Wild Laughter is her second novel, and was longlisted for the 2021 Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize, and shortlisted for the An Post Irish Novel of the Year 2020 and the RTE Radio 1 Listeners Choice Award. She holds a PhD from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and is currently the Oscar Wilde Centre Writer Fellow at Trinity College Dublin.

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'Powerful...darkly adventurous... An Irish Cain and Abel.'
- Guardian

'A razor-sharp snapshot of a family and a nation in trouble, in language that is vital and richly inventive... A remarkable achievement... An exhilarating and moving story of an Ireland in disarray.'
- Irish Times

'[A] riotous dark comedy...with much to relish in the crunchy vernacular and ribald humour... Hughes captures a feverish moment of country-wide crisis in a first-rate tale of family debt that isn't only financial.'
- Daily Mail

'A talented writer who is skilled in character and language, Hughes plays masterfully with her syntax in this novel... [Her] poetry background rings true in this second novel, her lyrical voice and witty humour carrying the otherwise heavy story.'
- Books, Ireland


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