Billy O'Callaghan

Goodreads Author


Born
in Cork, Ireland
Website

Genre

Influences

Member Since
August 2010


Billy O'Callaghan was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1974. His books include the short story collections: ‘In Exile’ (2008, Mercier Press), ‘In Too Deep’ (2008, Mercier Press), and 'The Things We Lose, the Things We Leave Behind' (2013, New Island Books/2017, CITIC Press, China); and a novel: 'The Dead House' (2017, O'Brien Press/Arcade, USA).

His latest novel, 'My Coney Island Baby', was published in 2019 by Jonathan Cape (UK, Ireland & the Commonwealth) and Harper (USA), as well as in translation by Grasset (France), Ambo Anthos (the Netherlands), btb Verlag (Germany) and Paseka (Czech Republic). Translations are also forthcoming from: Jelenkor (Hungary), Ediciones Salamandra (Spain), L’Altra Editorial (Catalonia), Guanda (Italy) and Othello (T
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Billy O'Callaghan Read a lot and write a lot. Every day, without excuse. It's like building muscle. And read widely, read novels, stories, essays, poems, biographies, h…moreRead a lot and write a lot. Every day, without excuse. It's like building muscle. And read widely, read novels, stories, essays, poems, biographies, histories. Broaden your mind. And also, be aware of the world around you. When you are out walking, or on a bus or in a cafe, look around and listen.(less)
Billy O'Callaghan A novel, that's taking forever. Part of the reason is that I keep putting it aside to work on new ideas for stories.
Average rating: 3.58 · 2,010 ratings · 510 reviews · 10 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Dead House

3.52 avg rating — 1,238 ratings — published 2017 — 11 editions
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My Coney Island Baby

3.29 avg rating — 521 ratings — published 2019 — 21 editions
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The Things We Lose, The Thi...

4.48 avg rating — 69 ratings — published 2013 — 4 editions
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The Boatman and Other Stories

4.52 avg rating — 66 ratings — published 2020 — 12 editions
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A Death in the Family

4.55 avg rating — 33 ratings — published 2017
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In Exile: Short Stories

4.50 avg rating — 32 ratings — published 2008 — 3 editions
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In Too Deep: And Other Shor...

4.39 avg rating — 28 ratings — published 2009 — 3 editions
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Life Sentences

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Ploughshares Fall 2018

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New Sun Rising: Stories for...

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An essay on writing grief

My new novel, My Coney Island Baby, will be published on January 17th in the UK and Ireland by Jonathan Cape, and I've written an essay for the Penguin website that attempts to burrow beneath the skin of at least one aspect of the book. The paragraph breaks have gone awry at some point during the formatting, which costs some necessary pauses, but I hope the gist of the piece remains.
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Published on December 21, 2018 10:40 Tags: harper, jonathan-cape, my-coney-island-baby

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The Newton Letter by John Banville
" One of Banville's most beautifully quiet books, Cecily. I'm pleased you found your way to it! "
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Billy O'Callaghan and 148 other people liked Cecily's review of My Coney Island Baby:
My Coney Island Baby by Billy O'Callaghan
"John Banville's book of the year 2019!
"A lush, precise, poetic account of a love affair that ends the way most love affairs do. We knew O’Callaghan to be a master of the short story, and here he shows the grand reach of his powers as a novelist." Sou" Read more of this review »
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" My new novel, My Coney Island Baby, will be published on January 17th in the UK and Ireland by Jonathan Cape and in April in the U.S. by Harper, and I ...more "
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“On a level, they might be perfect for one another, but it's a theoretical perfection only, compromised by timing. Their bests passed one another on the way to here, and now exist epochs apart.”
Billy O'Callaghan, The Things We Lose, The Things We Leave Behind

“Having what you need as well as what you want, and knowing that you have it, must be the definition of contentment.”
Billy O'Callaghan, The Dead House

“Everything about the world ahead of me was color - subtle shades shared out among the tumbling fields and flashes of shoreline, the rocks, waves and sky- and that, I knew, was a glimpse of magic, too, an acknowledgement of my own feelings. because the water was blue, but not blue, it was grey, or green or kind of burnt silver that seemed far beyond the scope of something as simplified as paint. It was all of those, and none of them, and only the right sort of eye could see, and recognize, and understand. As usual, I was seeing it as I tended to see everything: in too simplified a way. As usual, I was blind to the depths and stories of the world.”
Billy O'Callaghan, The Dead House

Topics Mentioning This Author

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Goodreads Ireland: This topic has been closed to new comments. February - April: Quarterly Irish Read Nominations 2015 81 75 Jan 23, 2015 04:10PM  
Goodreads Ireland: This topic has been closed to new comments. Oct - Dec Quarterly Nominations 9 42 Sep 23, 2017 02:18AM  
The Seasonal Read...: 25.8 - Dakimel's Task: Rulebreakers 40 93 Apr 28, 2018 08:29PM  
A Good Thriller: 25,000 Pages in 2018 264 184 Dec 30, 2018 05:35AM  
A Good Thriller: The Alphabet Challenge of 2018 46 139 Jan 01, 2019 09:22AM  
The Mystery, Crim...: This topic has been closed to new comments. * Currently Reading? Just Finished? 2018 2401 884 Jan 03, 2019 08:05PM  
The Reading For P...: Sandy's Spot in the Sun for 2018 117 74 Jan 06, 2019 12:40PM  
“The only writing that was any good was what you made up, what you imagined. That made everything come true. Everything good he had ever written he'd made up. None of it had ever happened. Other things had happened. Better things, maybe. That was what the family couldn't understand. They thought it was all experience. Nick in the stories was never himself. He made him up. Of course he had never seen an Indian woman having a baby. That was what made it good. Nobody knew that.”
Ernest Hemingway, Nick Adams Stories

“Then it don’ matter. Then I’ll be all aroun’ in the dark. I’ll be ever’where—wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’—I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build—why, I’ll be there.”
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

“But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, 'Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

“Life had seemed so simple that morning when I had wakened and found the false spring…But Paris was a very old city and we were young and nothing was simple there, not even poverty, nor sudden money, nor the moonlight, nor right and wrong nor the breathing of someone who lay beside you in the moonlight.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

“Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.”
V.S. Naipaul

137259 Short Story Connect — 1411 members — last activity Aug 31, 2020 06:56AM
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Reading takes you places. Where in the world will your next book take you? If you love world literature, translated works, travel writing, or explorin ...more
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A group for the Irish members of Goodreads! Every month we nominate and vote for a book which we read and discuss the following month. If you are ju ...more
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This is a group for Irish Authors, or authors with a trace of Irish blood in them, or if you have a friend from Ireland, or if you have read a book wr ...more
25x33 The Big Short — 375 members — last activity Apr 05, 2020 03:47AM
Some say short novel, others say novella, but regardless of page count they can have a large and lasting impact. Some say less is more, others short a ...more
180340 Irish Mythology Reinvented — 59 members — last activity Oct 23, 2018 05:17PM
I'm looking to meet and chat with people about Irish Mythology in modern literature, what people are reading, how it's being interpreted and what I sh ...more
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Hello everyone, So we at Penguin Random House Canada have a conundrum. We're maxed out a 5000 friends and can't add anymore faces to our GoodReads f ...more
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Comments (showing 1-7)    post a comment »
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message 7: by Billy

Billy O'Callaghan Cathy wrote: "Hello Billy, thanks for being book mates with me :)"

The pleasure is mine, Cathy. I look forward to some good discussions! All the best, Billy


message 6: by Cathy

Cathy Hello Billy, thanks for being book mates with me :)


message 5: by Laura

Laura Hi Billy, thank you for the friend request! One of your books is on my to-read list, and I'm looking forward both to reading it and to discussing books with you here on GR!


message 4: by Billy

Billy O'Callaghan Stephen wrote: "Thanks Billy for accepting my Friendship Request. Dolors holding you in high esteem is more than enough for me. :)"

You are welcome, Stephen. Thanks for the request. We can never have enough friends and book lovers are definitely the right kind of friends. I look forward to some good interaction! Best wishes, Billy


Stephen P Thanks Billy for accepting my Friendship Request. Dolors holding you in high esteem is more than enough for me. :)


message 2: by Billy

Billy O'Callaghan Dolors wrote: "Hello Billy. Many thanks for your friend invite and for trying to reply to my nonsensical question, which I am unable to reply myself! Heh, I have been meaning to delete it for ages but people come..."

Hi Dolors,
It's a great question! Impossible to answer, of course, but a nice one to ponder. Thanks for the friend acceptance. I look forward to reading and sharing many good books! Best wishes from Cork!


Dolors Hello Billy. Many thanks for your friend invite and for trying to reply to my nonsensical question, which I am unable to reply myself! Heh, I have been meaning to delete it for ages but people come up with the most creative of responses and and I keep postponing doing so. I see many of my favorite writers in your profile and so I can't wait to discuss their works with you. Cheers from Barcelona! :)


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