We Are Not in the World by  Conor O'Callaghan

We Are Not in the World

Conor O'Callaghan

Beginning in a haulage truck on the Dover-Calais ferry crossing, this road-trip soon veers from linear chronology and fractures into memories. These most strikingly focus on protagonist Paddy's intense yet oblique relationships with his daughter, his mother, and his lover. Haunted by loss and the desolation of anonymous edgelands travelled through, the book also brims with longing and wry humour. I found this a beautiful, disorientating read.


We travel in parallel silence. Mine is horror at her. Hers looks like a dazed delight at my horror and a sliver of shoplifter's remorse. A while of that and she starts eating. She performs a theatrical rustling of wrappers. She nibbles several bars and parks them on the dash. She sucks a peach-and-mango concentrate in one long drag of a straw until the pouch implodes in her hand. She yanks a red lollipop from its see-through square and sucks on it for ages. A coin of strawberry, a poppy in her mouth. Against her east-facing passenger window, she's silhouette with a stick protruding from its lips. We pass a few houses. We enter the edge of something. She removes the lollipop and looks my way and pokes out a long vermilion tongue.

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Explicit sexual content