Intimacies exquisitely charts the steps and missteps of young women trying to find their place in the world. From a Belfast student ordering illegal drugs online to end an unwanted pregnancy to a young mother’s brush with mortality; from a Christmas Eve walking the city centre streets when everything seems possible, to a night flight from Canada which could change a life irrevocably, these are stories of love, loss and exile, of new beginnings and lives lived away from ‘home’.
Taking in, too, the lives of other women who could be guiding lights – from Monica Lewinsky to Caroline Norton to Sinéad O’Connor – Intimacies offers keenly felt and subtly revealing insights into the heartbreak and hope of modern life.
Born in Belfast in 1981, Lucy Caldwell is the multi–award winning author of three novels, several stage plays and radio dramas and, most recently, two collections of short stories: Multitudes (Faber, 2016) and Intimacies (forthcoming, Faber, 2020). She is also the editor of Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber, 2019). Awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the George Devine Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Imison Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, the Irish Writers’ and Screenwriters’ Guild Award, the Commonwealth Writers’ Award (Canada & Europe), the Edge Hill Short Story Prize Readers’ Choice Award, a Fiction Uncovered Award, a K. Blundell Trust Award and a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.
Read: Words for Things, The Stinging Fly
Review: Intimacies by Lucy Caldwell: Bric-a-brac of ordinary life, Irish Times
As it’s day one of our Short Story September challenge, I’d like us to begin by making a list of firsts. Write about the first time you did something. Work quickly. Aim for at least 10. Then pick just 1 and free-write for 5 minutes.