Longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2021
- 9,00 kr
- 9,00 kr
'The book of the summer ... Kept me rapt until the final page' THE TIMES
'A sharp, smart, witty modern love story. I loved it' David Nicholls, author of ONE DAY
'More than lives up to the hype ... Likely to fill the Sally-Rooney-shaped hole in many readers' lives' IRISH TIMES
'Droll, shrewd and unafraid - a winning debut' Hilary Mantel, author of WOLF HALL
'I've been pushing Exciting Times on everyone I know. Some of Dolan's pithy observations of her characters are the best I've read since Edward St Aubyn' OBSERVER
'A frankly sensational book' Pandora Sykes on THE HIGH LOW
'In the tradition of Dorothy Parker, Joan Rivers and Nora Ephron ... I found myself purring with pleasure. ...This is comic writing at the highest level' Craig Brown, DAILY MAIL
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.
In Dolan's wry, tender debut, a young Dubliner navigates her love life and sexuality. Ava, 22, has a murky friendship with London-born and Oxford-educated banker Julian, in his late 20s, whom she'd met at a bar during her first month in Hong Kong, where she teaches English. They treat each other with ironic regard, speaking mostly in quips about his privilege and their mutual maybe-attraction. Ava moves into his flat, and they soon start sleeping together. The novel picks up speed after Julian travels to London for work and Ava meets Edith Zhang, who is both different from Julian in many ways stylish, female, a Hong Kong local and similar boarding school, Cambridge, a well-off family. On Ava's 23rd birthday, Edith kisses her, and they fall headlong into an earnest, garrulous, and secret love, as Edith isn't out to her family. When Julian writes to say he will be returning in a month, Ava, who hasn't disclosed the true nature of her and Julian's relationship to Edith, must decide what she really wants. Dolan starts slowly, but gradually the ironic distancing of Ava's narration is pierced by questions from Ava's students and her transformative relationship with Edith. Dolan's smart, brisk debut works as charming comedy of manners, though it packs less of a punch when it comes to class consciousness.