Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan, Shortlisted for the Dalkey Emerging Writer Award 2021

Naoise Dolan is an Irish writer born in Dublin. She studied English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and Oxford University. Exciting Times is her first novel, an excerpt from which was published in The Stinging Fly.

Naoise Dolan bookcover

About: Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan 

When you leave Ireland aged 22 to spend your parents' money, it's called a gap year. When Ava leaves Ireland aged 22 to make her own money, she's not sure what to call it, but it involves: a badly-paid job in Hong Kong, teaching English grammar to rich children; Julian, who likes to spend money on Ava and lets her move into his guest room; Edith, who Ava meets while Julian is out of town and actually listens to her when she talks; money, love, cynicism, unspoken feelings and unlikely connections.

Exciting times ensue.


“I found myself purring with pleasure. ...This is comic writing at the highest level.” Craig Brown, Daily Mail

“Very funny, extremely sharp, insightful and raw.” – Observer

“Fiercely intelligent, brutally funny and written with such heart.” – Nathan Filer

“As brilliant as everyone says! I devoured it.” – Marian Keyes

“A dazzling debut.” – Evening Standard

“The funniest writer you will read this year.” – Irish Independent

“Fantastic.” – Metro

“Constant fun.” – Telegraph

“I savoured every shrewd line.” – Dazed

Judges comments

“Naoise Dolan is a highly accomplished contemporary stylist who charts a young woman's coming of age in Ireland, London and Hong Kong with humour and panache.”

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