Evenings an Weekends by Oisín McKenna

Sometimes, in a city, on a particularly hot day, it feels almost certain that your life is about to utterly change. If you turn a street corner, strike up a conversation, get off the train a few stops early, it never stops feeling likely, even inevitable, that some remarkable thing will happen. The remarkable thing never does happen, or nearly never, but I still enjoy the feeling: to be suspended in longing for something you can’t quite put your finger on. That’s the feeling that characterised my first years in London. I moved there in 2017, having lived in Dublin for five years before, and having grown up in Drogheda.

I wanted to capture that feeling in Evenings and Weekends. All the characters, in one way or another, are longing for a bigger life. Set over the course of one weekend, the multi-generational ensemble cast are all on the verge of enormous change. Maggie and Ed, expecting a child but unable to afford to raise it in London, are moving back to the hometown they longed to leave. Phil is on the edge of being evicted from the beloved warehouse commune where he lives with eleven other people – including Keith, with whom he’s been having a casual relationship, even though Keith already has a boyfriend. Meanwhile, Phil’s mother Rosaleen, an Irish woman who moved to London in the seventies, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and this is the weekend she’s going to tell Phil about it. Their London is in a constant state of flux, and the world is changing too, as ecological collapse and political instability loom.

The book is full of gossip, sex, friendship, and love. I wanted to capture the city and its people, its manic, frenetic energy with a loving attention to detail, and document the world around me before it changes again beyond recognition.

You can now shop for Evenings and Weekends on our website.

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