March 30 , 2009

Lark's Eggs

New and Selected Stories


Des Hogan is, and has always been, the real thing - a writer of great originality, dramatic flair, linguistic invention - who remakes the world every time he puts pen to paper.' Neil Jordan. Desmond Hogan is one of most remarkable literary talents to have come out of Ireland in the past half-century. Larks' Eggs affirms that stature. Here, with twenty-two classic stories taken from earlier collections and twelve fresh narratives, Hogan displays anew his lyricism, compassion and sheer prismatic brilliance. His subject is exile and self-image, explored through isolates and eccentrics, brittle lives trapped by poverty, personal histories and restless identities, giving a voice to those on the margins -Travellers, the misplaced, the dispossessed. Describing 'The Airedale' in William Trevor's The Oxford Book of Short Stories, Cressida Connolly wrote: 'it is profound, moving and exquisitely executed. Hogan is one of the finest writers alive today and deserves to be much better known.' In the Times Literary Supplement, Joyce Carol Oates called 'Winter Swimmers' an 'elegiac, daringly sustained prose poem; a collage of meticulously rendered Irish scenes that weaves in and out of tales of tinkers and youths'. The San Francisco Chronicle remarked: 'Desmond Hogan's mastery of language and characterization rivals that of Flannery O'Connor and Anton Chekhov; never has the psychological landscape of the exile been rendered with such incisive, haunting prose.' Larks' Eggs' compelling tales of diaspora are both global and local, telling of subsumed identity and allurement, of past merging with present through landscape and mindscape. Desmond Hogan's fragmented personas are repositories for childhood memory and a collective unconscious that is distinctly Irish and history-burdened, while exhilaratingly and wholly universal and modern. 'Here's to the storytellers. They made sense of these lonely and driven lives of ours.' The Lilliput Press is proud to reintroduce one of Ireland's most evocative prose writers. Desmond Hogan takes his place alongside Joyce, Plunkett, Trevor, O'Faolain, Kiely and McGahern.
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