‘I read almost nothing during lockdown, due to being entirely unable to focus on anything for more than five seconds, but Exciting Times was one of the few things that managed to cut through the lockdown brain fog. The story of a young Irish woman navigating life and love during a year abroad in Hong Kong, written in spare, drily funny prose, and littered with razor-sharp observations about language and class.’
From the publisher:
‘Droll, shrewd and unafraid – a winning debut’ Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf Hall
‘Fiercely intelligent, brutally funny’ Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall
‘Witty, compelling and with a razor-sharp social commentary. I guzzled it’ Pandora Sykes
‘Read if you like Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth, Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath’ Sunday Times
‘More than lives up to the hype … Likely to fill the Sally-Rooney-shaped hole in many readers lives’ Irish Times
One of the observer‘s 10 best debut novelists of 2020
Naoise Dolan explodes onto the scene with Exciting Times, a slyly humorous and scorchingly smart modern love story about three cynics in Hong Kong
When you leave Ireland aged 22 to spend your parents’ money, it’s called a gap year. When Ava leaves Ireland aged 22 to make her own money, she’s not sure what to call it, but it involves:
– a badly-paid job in Hong Kong, teaching English grammar to rich children;
– Julian, who likes to spend money on Ava and lets her move into his guest room;
– Edith, who Ava meets while Julian is out of town and actually listens to her when she talks;
– money, love, cynicism, unspoken feelings and unlikely connections.
Exciting times ensue.