Mary O’Donoghue

The Hour After Happy Hour


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  • Pages: 183
  • ISBN: 978-1-906539-99-3
  • Published: Jul 2023


Cover Art: Dancers II by Marta Wakula-Mac
Cover Design: Eimear Gavin

Written over the course of ten years, while the author has been living in America’s northeast and southeast, Mary O’Donoghue’s stories in The Hour After Happy Hour reach into the wounds of immigration, transit, and exile. Here are modern, surreal dilemmas of rootlessness and failed returns. Here are people in their middle years struggling to be considered, let alone understood, in the fearsome day-to-day of the twenty-first century. Here too are the borders and battlefronts between parents and children. In each of these stories language is a first and last resort, and every sentence holds the force of fate.

“Mary O’Donoghue’s writing is deliciously alive and The Hour After Happy Hour is a fiercely compelling collection.”
—Elaine Feeney

“Measured and ceaselessly inventive stories that are full of artistry.”
—Mike McCormack

“A beautiful, uncompromising and chilling meditation on the infinitely varied landscape of human connection.”
—Elske Rahill

“With her delicate touch, keen intelligence, and fine ear for the nuances of language, Mary O’Donoghue explores the restless tension between the pursuit of ‘a brighter life’, and the irresistible pull of home that’s forever fraught with difficulty and complication.”
—Carys Davies

“It has been a long time since I’ve encountered stories as witty, compassionate, and intellectually scrupulous as Mary O’Donoghue’s. Home and homeland—their push and pull—preoccupy this author, yet never get the better of her.”
—David Leavitt

“A vigorous, sassy, funny collection. Each of these stories makes fresh incisions into the English language. The Hour After Happy Hour is a deeply rewarding read from the title to the final sentence.”
—Danielle McLaughlin

Mary O’Donoghue grew up in County Clare. Her short stories have appeared in The Stinging Fly, Granta, The Kenyon Review, The Dublin Review, Banshee, The Georgia Review, Subtropics, The Common, and elsewhere. She has published poetry collections with Salmon Poetry and Dedalus Press and translations in dual language volumes from Cló Iar-Chonnacht, Bloodaxe Books, and Yale University Press. Her novel Before the House Burns was published by Lilliput Press in 2010. She has been awarded fiction fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and residencies at Vermont Studio Center and Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is senior fiction editor at the literary magazine AGNI.

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