‘What I Did on my Summer Holidays’ by Paul McVeigh

Paul McVeigh’s novel The Good Son (2015) conveyed to me more of the atmosphere of the Troubles in Northern Ireland than any number of factual accounts. Its hero, young Mickey Donnelly, was introduced to readers some fifteen years earlier in this short story. Mickey’s voice and his feistiness are there, loud and clear, and McVeigh is already showing his ability to navigate the geography of both the Ardoyne and the human heart with great precision. Remarkably, he says this was his first attempt at prose, never mind a short story!

First published in the anthology New Century, New Writing, ed by P-P Hartnett, Millivres Press, 2000, and available to read online here. Chosen by Cath Barton: read Cath’s Personal Anthology here

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