Nicole Flattery

Nicole Flattery’s novel Nothing Special will be published by Bloomsbury next year.

Is this what life is like? ‘My Phantoms’

Nicole Flattery, 9 September 2021

To find​ Gwendoline Riley in her novels wouldn’t be hard, but it would be unrewarding. ‘People have the right to disappear if they want to,’ says Carmel, the narrator of her first. Cold Water, set in a Manchester dive bar, appeared in 2002 when Riley was 23. Since then she has published five more novels and a novella, but there have been no worthy, state-of-the-nation...

Ifirst encountered​ Tove Ditlevsen on a visit to Copenhagen. The whole trip had been a mistake. I kept thinking I should go and see the Little Mermaid. Seeing the statue, even from a distance, would somehow validate the journey. Apart from this depthless panic about how and when I would go and see the Little Mermaid, I was doing very little: wandering around galleries, sitting in the hotel...

Strut like Mutya: Paul Mendez

Nicole Flattery, 22 October 2020

Four young black women, dressed provocatively, dance and lip-synch under neon light. It could be a music video except the girls are in a cheap hotel room, wearing shoplifted dresses with the security tags intact. It’s a night of escape, a break from everyday life; at last the girls aren’t under the scrutiny of their parents or their crushes. They strike dramatic poses, clutch...

How many times? Catherine Lacey

Nicole Flattery, 16 July 2020

Catherine Lacey’s​ last book, Certain American States (2018), a short story collection, began with an epigraph from Annie Baker’s play Circle Mirror Transformation:

LAUREN: Hey. Um. This is kind of weird – but do you ever wonder how many times your life is gonna end?

(Another silence.)

SCHULTZ: Uh … I’m not sure I know what you –

LAUREN: Like how many people...

Bury that bastard

Nicole Flattery, 5 March 2020

Everyso often a magazine will publish a graph that proves, beyond any measure of doubt, that Hollywood is sexist, with a particular bias against middle-aged women. I’m not sure for whom this information is intended. Somebody who has never seen a film but likes graphs? Somebody so insulated from the real world that they’ve never strolled past a multiplex and caught a glimpse of...

Proudly Reptilian: Kevin Barry

Nicole Flattery, 12 September 2019

It’s​ a stereotypical Irish scene. A beleaguered man is tending to a failing and unhappy farm. There’s trouble in the poultry shed. If this were a film, there would be close-ups of a sweat-ridden brow, a taut, unending blue sky, the rugged earth. What wrenches you out of this fantasy is the first line of dialogue, delivered matter-of-factly by the farmer, John, to his wife:...

In​ ‘Abortion, a Love Story’, the long story at the centre of Nicole Flattery’s first collection, a young woman, Natasha, tells the professor on whom she’s about to...

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