Where Have You Been? by Joseph O'Connor
"Where Have You Been?" is award-winning novelist Joseph O'Connor's first collection of short stories in more than twenty years. Ranging from urgently contemporary London and Dublin to New York's Lower East Side in the nineteenth century, from dark comedy to poignancy, from the wryly provocative to the quietly beautiful, these stories offer a gathering of dreamers and lost souls who contend with the confusions of living. Here are men without women, children parenting parents, residents of the uncertain country that is post-boom Ireland, emigrants, travellers, cheats and lovers, families, friends and foes. The focus is on those moments of the everyday when possibility seems to appear. A football match becomes an occasion of hard-won acceptances. An old acquaintance re-encountered plays mind-games in a bar. A fling between people who have almost nothing in common alters their lives forever. In Dublin, a desperately ill woman meets a tour guide in a hotel. A civil servant drives his father into Wicklow to say a final goodbye. A boy comes of age in a seaside town where everything is about to change. "Where Have You Been?" is a powerfully moving, entertaining and life-affirming read, from the internationally acclaimed author of "Star of the Sea", "Redemption Falls" and "Ghost Light".