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The Burning Ground by Adam O'Riordan

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Written with an outsider's keen eye, this collection of stories paints an intimate portrait of diverse lives, in a work of remarkable beauty and poignancy. In these eight stories, an English writer focuses his gaze on America's West Coast, moving from fractured lives in remote, sun-scorched towns to the charged hum of Venice Beach.


The Burning Ground by Adam O'Riordan

A masterful debut short story collection from the award-winning, critically-acclaimed poet Adam O'Riordan. A man visits his long-distance lover in Los Angeles and forges an unexpected bond with a fellow traveller on the way; a teenager interviews a businessman for his school newspaper and their paths continue to cross, throughout life; the foreman of a desert building project embarks on a journey down the Pacific Coast Highway and into California's underworld when his employer's daughter goes missing; a lonely widower reflects on the past and confronts a disturbing and long suppressed memory; a divorced father tries to reconnect with his son on a hunting trip; an artist finds peace in exile after the disintegration of an affair; and itinerant Brits discuss love and acting in downtown LA.


'This is a wonderful, beguiling collection of short stories. Written with a cool, knowing lyricism, they haunt and enthral' -- William Boyd

'These musical, deftly patterned poems are the products of a supple susceptibility and a determined intelligence. They make for a convincing and sustained debut' -- Adam Foulds

'An auspicious debut, full of unforgettable lines and hard-won insights. Adam O'Riordan is the real thing' -- Hugo Williams

'Adam O'Riordan's poems combine verbal grace with powerful feelings and a keen intelligence that extends from the personal to the political with admirable ease ... Extremely impressive' -- James Lasdun

'Elegant, beautifully-turned poems that match an easy technique with a sophisticated intelligence' -- Nick Laird

About the Author

Adam O'Riordan was born in Manchester in 1982 and read English at Oxford University. In 2008 O'Riordan became the youngest Writer in Residence at The Wordsworth Trust, the Centre for British Romanticism. His first collection of poetry, In the Flesh, won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2011. He is Senior Lecturer at the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. The Burning Ground is his first collection of short stories. @oriordanadam

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Adam O'Riordan

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Literary Fiction
Short Story Collections
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