Life Sentences

Life Sentences Cover

“Eminently readable . . . My book of the year so far”
RYAN TUBRIDY

Life Sentences is a new novel from Billy O’Callaghan.

“At just sixteen, Nancy leaves the small island of Cape Clear for the mainland, the only member of her family to survive the effects of the Great Famine. Finding work in a grand house on the edge of Cork City, she is irrepressibly drawn to the charismatic gardener Michael Egan, sparking a love affair and a devastating chain of events that continues to unfold over three generations. Spanning more than a century, Life Sentences is the unforgettable journey of a family hungry for redemption, and determined against all odds to be free.

This sweeping story of one family’s fight for survival goes on making the heart lurch long after the final page, and confirms Billy O’Callaghan as one of the finest living Irish writers.”

“O’Callaghan is one of our finest writers . . . and this is his best work yet”
~ JOHN BANVILLE

Life Sentences was published by Jonathan Cape on the 14th January 2021, and is available from local bookshops, as well as Bookshop.org, Amazon, Hive, The Book Depository and Waterstones.

Listen to Billy discuss the inspiration behind the book with Ryan Tubridy, above.

The Boatman and Other Stories

“A master of the short story.”
John Banville, Irish Times Books of the Year

The Boatman and Other Stories is Billy’s latest short story collection.

“In these twelve quietly dazzling, carefully crafted stories, Billy O’Callaghan explores the resilience of the human heart and its ability to keep beating even in the wake of grief, trauma and lost love.

Spanning a century and two continents – from the muddy fields of Ireland to a hotel room in Paris, a dingy bar in Segovia to an aeroplane bound for Taipei – The Boatman follows an unforgettable cast of characters. Three gunshots on the Irish border define the course of a young man’s life; a writer clings fast to a star-crossed affair with a woman who has never been fully in his reach; a fisherman accustomed to hard labour rolls up his sleeves to dig a grave for his child; a pair of newly-weds embark on their first adventure, living wild on the deserted Beginish Island.

Ranging from the elegiac to the brutally confrontational, these densely layered tales reveal the quiet heroism and gentle dignity of ordinary life. O’Callaghan is a master celebrant of the smallness of the human flame against the dark: its strength, and its steady brightness.”

The Boatman and Other Stories was published by Jonathan Cape on the 9th January 2020, and is available in the UK, Ireland and the Commonwealth from AmazonHive, The Book Depository and Waterstones.

In the US, it was published by Harper Collins on the 28th April 2020, and is available from Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, HarperCollins, IndieBound and The Book Depository.

Listen to Billy read the title story of the collection.

My Coney Island Baby

Billy’s new novel, My Coney Island Baby, will be published by Jonathan Cape in the UK, as well as Harper Collins (USA), Grasset (France), Jelenkor (Hungary), Ediciones Salamandra (Spain), L’Altra Editorial (Catalonia), Ambo Anthos (Netherlands), Paseka (Czech Republic), btb Verlag (Germany) and Guanda (Italy).

My Coney Island Baby is was released by Jonathan Cape in January 2019, and is available in the UK, Ireland and the Commonwealth from AmazonHive, The Book Depository and Waterstones.

In the US, it was published by Harper Collins in April 2019, and is available from Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, HarperCollins, IndieBound and The Book Depository.

Latest Update

Life Sentences Cover

Billy on the Ryan Tubridy Show

Billy O’Callaghan was interviewed by Irish broadcaster and presenter Ryan Tubridy on the Ryan Tubridy Show, RTÉ One. They talked about his new book, Life Sentences, and the inspiration behind it. …