The End of the World is a Cul de Sac ~ Louise Kennedy


The secrets people kept, the lies they told.

In these visceral, stunningly crafted stories, people are effortlessly cruel to one another, and the natural world is a primitive salve. Here, women are domestically trapped by predatorial men, Ireland’s folklore and politics loom large, and poverty – material, emotional, sexual – seeps through every crack.

A wife is abandoned by her new husband in a ghost estate, with blood on her hands; a young woman is tormented by visions of the man murdered by her brother during the Troubles; a pregnant mother fears the worst as her husband grows illegal cannabis with the help of a vulnerable teenage girl; a woman struggles to forgive herself after an abortion threatens to destroy her marriage.

Announcing a major new voice in literary fiction for the twenty-first century, these sharp shocks of stories offer flashes of beauty, and even humour, amidst the harshest of truths.

Louise Kennedy has written for The Guardian, Irish Times, BBCRadio 4 and RTE Radio 1. Her short ficiton has been widely published and she was short listed for Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award in 2019 and 2020. Bloomsbury will publish her debut collection, The End of the World is a Cul de Sac, in April. She grew up in County Down and lives in Sligo, where she is finishing a novel.

Further reading:

Read: In Silhouette (excerpt) in The Short Story Award

Review: The End of the World is a Cul De Sac by Louise Kennedy, The Guardian

Prompt: Write a short story using all of the following words:

blue, fig, water, attempt, chocolate, switch, child, never, joy, wandering,

scissors, toner, thread, balm, rose, complex, light, basket, date, pastry

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