We Were Young

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781474611725

Price: £9.99

ON SALE: 25th May 2023

Genre: Health & Personal Development

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‘I love this woman’s writing. Golden sentences’ Diana Evans

‘Witty, fiery, wistful and even shocking, with engrossing heady prose, Campbell’s style is unique’ Irish Independent

An immensely enjoyable novel, and a great validation of Campbell’s uncanny emotional insight’ Megan Nolan, Sunday Independent

Cormac is a photographer. Approaching forty and still single, he suddenly finds himself ‘the leftover man’.
Through talent and charm, he has escaped small town life and a haunted family. But now his peers are all getting divorced, dying, or buying trampolines in the suburbs. Cormac is dating former students, staying out all night and receiving boilerplate rejection emails for his work, propped up by a constellation of the women and ex-lovers in his life.

In the last weeks of the year, Cormac meets Caroline, an ambitious young dancer, and embarks on a miniature odyssey of intimacy. Simultaneously, he must take responsibility for his married brother, whose mid-life crisis forces them both to reckon with a death in the family that hangs over those left behind.

Set in Dublin, a city built on burial pits, We Were Young is a dazzlingly clever, deeply enjoyable novel from a Sunday Times Short Story Award-Winning author.

‘In 30 years from now will some literary critic be asking what is meant by “Campbellesque”? That would not surprise me in the slightest’ Irish Times


There is so much to love in this deeply intelligent, insightful book . . . One of the best achievements here is conveying that maddening sense one gets at times on the border of intimacy, unable to break through . . . We Were Young is an immensely enjoyable novel, and a great validation of Campbell's uncanny emotional insight
Megan Nolan, Sunday Independent
Campbell writes beautiful sentences with breath-taking imagery
Mia Letvin, Irish Times
WE WERE YOUNG captures an Ireland I've never before seen in print, namely the erotic and artistic lives of a generation displaced. It is a stunning book that cracked me open more than once. Campbell's sentences are nothing short of magnificent.
Sue Rainsford, author of FOLLOW ME TO GROUND
A beguiling, remarkable work of art. It renders exquisitely the melancholy of living in an always changing Dublin, and of family sorrow which is always threatening to break through the surface of its silence. It feels like an instant classic of Irish literature
Megan Nolan, author of ACTS OF DESPERATION
She appears to digest the world in layers, receiving not only what is there, but what once was, and whatever memory or thought it sparks anew
Niamh Donnelly, Irish Times
Beguiling and funny . . . such a pleasurable story
Financial Times
Though its short, and deceptively simple, we are treated to a portrait of an entire life . . . Beguiling . . . with astounding intimacy . . . Effortless . . . There is joy and playfulness here, and the novel is also laugh-out-loud funny in places . . . We become intimate with Cormac's circle because they feel so real . . . A breathtakingly accomplished novel that really gets at the soul of a person
Emer O'Hanlon, Irish Independent
Campbell's new novel confirms what an outstanding writer she is . . . What makes the novel so endlessly rich is how patiently and sensitively Campbell evokes a complex depth of feeling and sedimented experience . . . She writes with a deliciously refined sense of irony without ever torpedoing the book's emotional sincerity. Superb
Anthony Cummins, Daily Mail
What sets We Were Young apart, aside from the calibre of her writing is the point of view. Where most accounts of lopsided relationships with arty age gaps are told, as they are written, by women, this time Campbell has boldly handed the microphone to a man
Susannah Goldsborough, Daily Telegraph ****
This is trenchant, lucid writing. Niamh Campbell's novel is somehow both sharp and forgiving, steely and warm. With WE WERE YOUNG, Campbell takes up her place as one of the finest Irish stylists of her generation
Seán Hewitt, author of TONGUES ON FIRE
An immensely talented writer
Irish Examiner
WE WERE YOUNG is a truly exceptional novel, by an exceptional writer