‘Extremadura’ by Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry is the writer everyone wants to write like. I came across his work during lockdown and couldn’t get enough. The dialect, the darkness, the lyricism. He’s a literary trickster extraordinaire. You read one Barry and you want to read them all. Then all over again.

‘Extremadura (Until Night Falls)’ has at its centre a typical Barry character, a man who has landed in Spain, fleeing his Irish family ties, escaping his life. As often is the case, there’s a dog, a girl, and a melancholy heart. But familiar characters aside, there’s nothing ordinary about Kevin Barry’s dark Spanish tale. It pounds with the heartbeat of the west of Ireland.

First published in That Old Country Music, Canongate 2020

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