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Book cover of Close to Home

Close to Home

Winner of the Rooney Prize for Literature 2023

Michael Magee

21
Coup de coeur
Coup de coeur (Literature), by Maria
Sean returns to Belfast after university to find himself adrift and prospectless; his time spent moving between his childhood home, dead-end work shifts and grotty house parties. In this beautifully written debut, Magee portrays both a city and a man in the midst of reinvention, keenly capturing the complexities of class and history in a very personal story.

WINNER OF THE ROONEY PRIZE FOR LITERATURE 2023

SHORTLISTED FOR THE NERO BOOK AWARDS 2023
SHORTLISTED FOR THE IRISH BOOK AWARDS NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR 2023

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WATERSTONES DEBUT FICTION PRIZE 2023

Luminous and devastating, a portrait of modern masculinity as shaped by class, by trauma, and by silence, but also by the courage to love and to survive


Sean's brother Anthony is a hard man. When they were kids their ma did her best to keep him out of trouble but you can't say anything to Anto. Sean was supposed to be different. He was supposed to leave and never come back.

But Sean does come back. Arriving home after university, he finds Anthony's drinking is worse than ever. Meanwhile the jobs in Belfast have vanished, Sean's degree isn't worth the paper it's written on and no one will give him the time of day. One night he loses control and assaults a stranger at a party, and everything is tipped into chaos.

Close to Home witnesses the aftermath of that night, as Sean attempts to make sense of who he has become, and to reckon with the relationships that have shaped him, for better and worse.

Drawing from his own experiences, Michael Magee examines the forces which keep young working class men in harm's way, in a debut novel which shines with intelligence and humanity on every page. Close to Home is an extraordinary work of fiction about deciding what kind of a man you want to be and finding your place in the scarred city you call home.

'Staggeringly humane, unfaltering, taut and tender... [It] feels like that rarest of things: a genuinely necessary book' Guardian

'Every detail rings true, every character is fleshy and real and heartbreaking... Michael Magee has a remarkable talent' Sunday Times

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Binding: Hardback
Publication date: 06 Apr 2023
Dimensions: 144 x 223 x 33 mm
ISBN: 9780241582978

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