Engaged with both the minutiae of thought processes and the impulse to action, these stories grapple with the twists and turns of individual psychology and personal relationships. Wider themes of justice and the place of the individual in the political and social context of the modern world are never far from the surface, at times, when least expected, seasoned with a sly humour. An intriguing and compelling collection. Read one of the stories from Suitcase, A Hot Coffee, published in the Irish Times Online on Christmas Day.
“In the hands of Liz McSkeane, the everyday ‒ a café terrace, a deserted corridor, an oriental rug, an airport lounge ‒ can be abruptly transformed into a site of conflict and menace. Always meticulous in her choice of language, these stories show her skill in evoking our primal emotions.” David Butler
“This is a brilliant, incisive collection of contemporary short stories, startling and unsettling in their profound reflections on the complexities of modern life.” Lisa Harding
“The delight in these stories is McSkeane’s mastery of the minutiae, the half-frown, the dismissive glance, the almost imperceptible moments that can define the whole trajectory of a life thereafter…This anthology is impactful, insightful and superbly written. A real reader’s treat.” Anne Cunningham, Sunday Independent
“What to Put in a Suitcase is an impactful, modern collection of short stories that awaken the senses and asks the questions we sometimes choose to ignore. Nothing is wasted in the language used throughout. Many of the stories demonstrate the vulnerability of being human, examining our behaviour in different circumstances. Liz McSkeane understands our need for real connections, for interaction, for love, to be needed, to be heard and with her skilled pen she demonstrates these human traits with lucidity and wisdom.” Mairéad Hearne, Swirl and Thread