Dublin Palms

Hugo Hamilton

The seafront was full of memory, full of sand and sex and shivering and wet bathing costumes pooled on the ground. Everything was familiar, the hedges with purple flowers, the granite pier, the lighthouse…

You can be bullied by things you love.

Sean has returned to Dublin from Berlin. He feels a constant dislocation, never quite arriving in his place of birth. Everything comes to him in a confusion of three languages.

Irish: the ghost language, the one his father spoke, the one added to road signs, the one in which they sing the old songs of leaving. German: his mother’s tongue, with its distance and its dark history. And English: the language of the street, the language his father barred from the home, the language he now lives in with his partner Helen and their two children.

In this spectacular novel from the author of The Speckled People, Sean attempts to build his own version of home, one that is made of stories and memory, one that is under constant threat of falling apart.

Reviews of Dublin Palms

  • Praise for The Speckled People:

    ‘This is the most gripping book I’ve read in ages. And it’s beautifully written: what could have been safe memories are made new-lived and real in this fascinating, disturbing and often very funny memoir’ Roddy Doyle

    ‘The Speckled People is poetic in its language and construction, lyrical in so many of its descriptions. There is a story full of several different kinds of passion with a real tragedy at its heart. The pain is all there, but so is its antidote’
    Margaret Forster

    ‘Donner und Blitzen! What the Jaysus! A memoir of warmth and wisdom. And at last a good – if flawed – Irish father. A beautiful German mother. And not too much rain. It is tender and profound and, best of all, tells the truth. I loved it.’
    Patrick McCabe

    ‘A fine and timely book from an exquisitely gifted writer, this is beautiful, subtle, unflashy, perfectly realised and quite extraordinarily powerful.’
    Joseph O’Connor