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The Wild Laughter

A novel by


'Extraordinary... A book of wicked intelligence and tender heart.' - Max Porter, author of Lanny

It's 2008, and the Celtic Tiger has left devastation in its wake. Brothers Hart and Cormac Black are waking up to a very different Ireland – one that widens the chasm between them and brings their beloved father to his knees. Facing a devastating choice that risks their livelihood, if not their lives, their biggest danger comes when there is nothing to lose.

A sharp snapshot of a family and a nation suddenly unmoored, this epic-in-miniature explores cowardice and sacrifice, faith rewarded and abandoned, the stories we tell ourselves and the ones we resist. Hilarious, poignant and utterly fresh, The Wild Laughter cements Caoilinn Hughes' position as one of Ireland's most audacious, nuanced and insightful young writers.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Caoilinn Hughes is a writer of immense ability and vitality – she's a true natural, with the talent to match her ambition." - Kevin Barry

"What a profound, much needed, urgent novel. The Wild Laughter is dark and beautiful, and touches the heart of what deep suffering our political systems have brought upon the world, but seen in that clearest way – intimately, microscopically, through family. The myriad ways they can love, hurt and betray one another... So well done." - Fatima Bhutto

"The Wild Laughter is a stunning piece of writing. Hughes' sentences are so well-crafted I read many of them several times and discovered fresh layers with each read. Her dialogue is razor sharp and shot through with Beckett-esque black humour. The characters are perfectly drawn. A strong and early contender for Irish novel of the year." - Jan Carson

"A memorable, insightful portrait of a complex family in an equally complex economic and emotional situation. Caoilinn Hughes get the balance just right: the pathos is real but never heavy-handed; the humour is black but never mean-spirited. The Wild Laughter succeeds on all levels." - Patrick deWitt

"Caoilinn Hughes is a massive talent." - Anthony Doerr

"I loved this book. So funny and bleak. I loved the madness, the tone, the ending, the realisation, The Third Policeman charge of the whole thing." - Roddy Doyle

"From the first arresting paragraph of The Wild Laughter, Caoilinn Hughes enthrals us on a journey through contemporary Ireland, one that even the most far-flung reader will find delightful, in all of its hilarity, peculiarity and states of flux." - Elnathan John

"Extraordinary... A book of wicked intelligence and tender heart." - Max Porter

"The Wild Laughter is painfully smart, comically brilliant and boldly subversive. Hughes makes her subject matter entirely her own while providing a lacerating look at the world we live in." - Olivia Sudjic

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