It is a journey that we all make: from childhood through adolescence to adulthood and, for some of us, from naïve to wise, and from immature to mature. Stories of “formation”, from the German “Bildungsroman”, novels of growth and development (“Entwicklungsroman”), coming-of-age novels are also stories of loss—starting with the loss of innocence, painful realisations, and (self)-discovery.

The Death of Tarpons by Les Edgerton

The first, largely autobiographical, novel from a Noir master that explains his subsequent literary journeys into darkness.

“A coming-of-age tale set on the Texas Gulf Coast, Edgerton’s novel bravely handles a boy growing up in his fourteenth summer. Loving grandparents aid Corey’s quest to please a father incapable of love, and his protection of a mother seeking solace in religious fundamentalism. Big on heart.”Booklover’s Magazine

The Death of Tarpons is much more than a fish story, more even than an investigation about how and why boys grow—or don’t grow—into good men. […] While this book deals with violence and cruelty, it is ultimately a definition of gentleness and love.”  The Indianapolis Star

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My Perfect Cousin by Colin O’Sullivan

Award-winning Irish writer Colin O’Sullivan returns to a familiar (and formative) Irish setting with this punchy novel that grows in pace page by page. Although rooted in the 1980s, this fraught and frantic work is startlingly relevant, with fractured families, taut twists, illness and ill-will, teenage tantrums and taboos – all which will inevitably come to a head one chilling winter.

“There’s an inner beauty to O’Sullivan’s narrative and characters, a most human beauty that is the undercurrent of all he writes and creates, no matter how dark or perverse the narrative probes. […] Colin O’Sullivan, I’m happy to say, has the heart of an Irish Poet and the intellect and wisdom of a Jewish Sage.” Richard Kalich

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They All Fall Down by Kim Hood

It is 1994. Rosie—a 17-year-old Irish girl — has been sent to look after her Rwandan grandmother. Callie—an 18-year-old Canadian girl—is looking forward to volunteering for an aid organisation in Africa. Both are going to Rwanda to escape their lives at home…

Why do we forget so quickly? Why is it so difficult for us to relate to human tragedy that is not to do with ‘us’? How does our definition of ‘us’ and ‘them’ influence our capacity to relate, and to have lasting empathy? And for many in the world – immigrants, refugees, expats – are we ‘us’ or ‘they’? These are ideas that award-winning writer Kim Hood explores in her new novel.

“This is immersive writing at its best. […] Hood writes with conviction and confidence. This is a book you don’t just read, you live.”The Irish Independent