A moving work that builds to an elegiac climax and is a welcome voice to the pantheon of new Irish writing.(Edna O'Brien)
fills you with a psychological dread that is hard to shake … Billy O’Callaghan is one of those types of storytellers whose prowess is clearly on display with his impressive début novel(writerfulbooks.com)
in a first-person voice unlike any other I’ve come across, O’Callaghan gifts us with a story that unfolds in just the way you’d want to hear it by the fireside … best not read at night. And yet I’d be hard-pressed to label 'The Dead House' a ghost story; though it is that, it is more … All praise 'The Dead House.' Do yourself a favor and get ahold of this book(thewildgeese.irish)
O’Callaghan slowly unsettles the reader, line by line, as reality is questioned … skilfully conjures up a sense of dread, while at the same time creating a psychological internal terror for his characters … a superb debut novel from an extremely skilled Irish writer(Evening Echo)
the all-nighter read … from the very first chapter, there’s an eerily beautiful stillness to Billy O’Callaghan’s debut … an engrossing, striking debut from an Irish talent(Image Magazine)
beautifully eerie tale, a feast for your eyes, a torment for your mind. The exquisite cover immediately called to me, I found myself bewitched and reaching out to touch it. A house sits at the centre of this tale, a house bought as a means to escape, to reconnect, to exist at one with the surroundings. Michael invites us to listen to a story, and he paints a picture for you to taste, to feel. The descriptions are striking, particularly of the people, filling my eye and mind with their essence. Yet a trickle of unease hovers over the pages, encouraging thoughts to flicker, leaving you teetering on the edge of fear. Billy O’Callaghan writes with a skilfully light touch, this isn’t a terrifying, afraid to sit in the dark tale, it’s more subtle than that, instead it will creep inside minds, slice a little space for itself, and take up residence. ‘The Dead House’, with a shiver-inducing final few pages, is a wonderfully mesmerising read, and I loved it(Lovereading)
a skilfull, entertaining piece of work: a traditional ghost story in the best possible sense … The Dead House fulfils its formal obligations with subtlety and grace … in particular, Michaels’ voice … affords considerable readerly pleasure … O’Callaghan’s descriptive prose reaches impressive heights(Sunday Business Post)
Busy week for book delivery but this one wins best cover @OBrienPress(RTE’s Arts correspondent Sinead Crowley)
I know of no writer on either side of the Atlantic who is better at exploring the human spirit under assault ... O’Callaghan is a treasure of the English language.(Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author)
The Things We Lose, The Things We Leave Behind [is a] masterclass in understatement(Dermot Bolger, Irish Independent)
moments of insight and profundity which could only come from the mind of one who has known intimately the heartache and loss experienced by the characters he writes about ... superlative writing(Writerful Books, Australia)
About the Author
Billy O'Callaghan was born in Cork in 1974, and is the author of three previous short story collections: In Exile (2008) and In Too Deep (2009), both published by the Mercier Press, and The Things We Lose, the Things We Leave Behind (2013) published by New Island Books, the title story of which earned him the 2013 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award for Short Story of the Year.
The recipient of literature bursaries from the Arts Council in 2010 and the Cork County Council in 2015 among several other honours, including the Molly Keane Award and the George A. Birmingham Award, his work has been broadcast on RTE Radio One's Book On One, Sunday Miscellany and the Francis MacManus Awards series. He has also been short-listed on four occasions for the RTE/P.J. O'Connor Award for Radio Drama.
Over the past fifteen years, his short stories have appeared in some ninety literary magazines and journals around the world, including: Absinthe: New European Writing, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, the Bellevue Literary Review, Bliza, Confrontation, the Fiddlehead, the Forge Magazine, Hayden’s Ferry Review, the Kenyon Review, the Kyoto Journal, London Magazine, the Los Angeles Review, Narrative Magazine, the Southeast Review, Southword, Versal, and Yuan Yang: a Journal of Hong Kong and International Writing. New work is forthcoming in Salamander, the Emerson Review and Valparaiso Fiction Review. He also contributes regular book reviews to the Irish Examiner.
Billy won second place in the 2017 Costa Short Story Awards for his story The Boatman.