’Citizens is an unabashedly ambitious novel written with confidence and brio.'
—Colin Barrett, author of Young Skins
'Angry, cynical and disillusioned, Kevin Curran’s twenty-first century Dubliners inhabit a city of late nights, cheap pills, Skype sex and jittery comedowns. Citizens is a thrilling dispatch from life lived amid the ruins of idealism. '
—Rob Doyle, author of Here Are the Young Men
'Citizens skillfully combines a historical tale with razor sharp contemporary cultural commentary.'
—Hot Press magazine
'One of the greatest achievements of Kevin Curran's second novel, Citizens, is its careful demythologisation of history.'
'Curran has succeeded in capturing the cynicism and uncertainty of his generation.'
'A writer of real perception and sensitivity'
'A compelling, vividly conjured narrative.'
'Brilliantly portrays the human inter-dependency that an entire nation is built upon...a poignant proclamation of the 1916 centenary'
'Grippingly real, Citizens is an important story to be told...and an undeniably good one too.’
Dublin 2011. Ireland has failed, and if you’re in your twenties, you’re getting out. Neil, twenty-six, unemployed and disillusioned with the country, is leaving. But having deferred his flight to attend his grandfather’s funeral, he’s now stuck behind, aiding his grieving grandmother. His girlfriend left for Canada a month ago. Once he gets what has been bequeathed to him, he’ll join her.
Dublin 1916. Harry Casey is a Pathé newsreel cameraman with a cine-machine and four reels ready to capture the events of Easter Week. However, war destroys even the best-laid plans, and what starts out as an artistic endeavor becomes a subversive challenge to the new republic’s hierarchy.
Before Neil can leave for Canada, his grandmother asks him to read his great-grandfather Harry Casey’s recently discovered memoirs. Eager to find out if the reminiscences are valuable, Neil delays his departure again. With his girlfriend in Canada growing increasingly impatient, and his grandmother’s pleas for him to stay in Ireland more desperate, Neil faces a choice between the past and the future that will have far-reaching consequences for the rest of his life.
Citizens creates a conversation across a century, between two disparate characters, in one unique interwoven story that combines the historical epic with razor-sharp contemporary cultural commentary.
Kevin Curran grew up in Balbriggan, County Dublin. He has a Master’s degree in Anglo-Irish Literature from University College Dublin. His short fiction has appeared in the Stinging Fly and the anthology Young Irelanders. Citizens is his second novel, following Beatsploitation in 2013, also published by Liberties Press. He teaches in Dublin.