The debut novel of retired CIT Deputy Librarian, Tadhg Coakley, is now in the shops
Published on: Monday, 20 August 2018
Technically daring and with an unforgettable cast of characters, The First Sunday in September announces an exciting new voice in Irish fiction.
Tadhg's book was launched in the Triskel Arts Centre on Thursday 16th August by the author Mary Morrissy. Waterstones were sold out of books on the night!
'The First Sunday in September', published by Mercier Press, tells the story of a fictional All-Ireland Hurling Final Sunday when Clare play Cork.
It’s the day of the All-Ireland Hurling Final. A hungover Clareman goes to Dublin, having remortgaged his house and bet the last of the money on his county to win. An Englishwoman attends the final with her partner, wondering when to tell him that she’s pregnant. A long-retired player watches the match from the stands, his gaze repeatedly falling on the Cork captain, whom he and his wife gave up for adoption years earlier. Clare’s star forward struggles under the weight of expectation. Cork’s talisman waits for the sliotar to fall from the sky, aware that his destiny is already set.
These are just some of the many characters we meet in the book.
Praise for The First Sunday in September
‘The First Sunday in September really is quite an achievement. It has hurling at its heart but the game stands as a fulcrum around which the stories act and the stories are vibrant and authentic, brimming with the intensity and the desire and the triumphs and failures that make sporting occasions such a sublime allegory for our human condition. I enjoyed it immensely.’
‘Imagine Raymond Carver meets Donal Ryan and you have Tadhg Coakley’s novel. His writing is taut and vivid, his voice compelling and compassionate. From the ordinary experiences of a single day, he evokes an entire complex world. A stirring new voice in Irish fiction.’
‘Inventive, polyphonic, compelling: Coakley’s Irish chorus lifts off the page to cry out its fears and desires. A visceral sports novel, and yet so tender.’
‘Tadhg Coakley deftly captures those moments when a life, like a sliotar, appears to hang suspended, mid-air, and nobody can be sure what will happen when it drops.’
‘The First Sunday in September takes us through the turnstiles of a sporting event but also into the hearts and minds of a medley of characters who sometimes win but often lose, and whose experiences of life ring true.’
'Just like his county's hurlers currently play, Coakley's book is fast-moving, highly skilled and a pleasure to behold.'
The Irish Independent
'The First Sunday in September is a masterclass in structure and characterisation – where each individual has his or her unique contribution to make to a narrative which highlights the frailty of human existence.'
The Evening Echo
'Clever and assured. Packs an emotional punch.'
The Irish Examiner
Tadhg was delighted to share the night with so many family and friends
Tadhg signing the book for the Mallow actor, Martin Lucey.
There were long queues before and after the readings to sign the book.
First Sunday in September is on sale in all good bookshops countrywide.