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Kevin Curran

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Kevin Curran

I write about the marginalized, working class, diverse youth of the Dublin suburbs. My work is contemporary not only with its subject matter, but in its language too. I like to deal with Ireland’s attitudes to multiculturalism and diversity in my writing, and show how Ireland can embrace these challenges with empathy and hope.

Kevin Curran is from Balbriggan and has been a secondary-school teacher in his hometown for over a decade. His fiction largely concentrates on working class life in the Dublin suburbs. His most recent novel Youth is set in his hometown and deals with diversity and multiculturalism. His first novel, Beatsploitation, was published in 2013 and brought him national attention due to his depiction of Ireland’s new multicultural landscape. His second novel, Citizens, was published to critical acclaim in 2016. He has published numerous short stories in major anthologies and literary journals such as The Stinging Fly & The Tangerine. His short story Saving Tanya from Young Irelanders (New Island 2015) was Longlisted for the Bord Gais Short story of the Year. His story Adventure Stories for Boys was included in the Stinging Fly ‘Best of 20 Year Anthology’: Stinging Fly Stories, and also Longlisted for the Bord Gais Short Story of the Year. He has also written non-fiction for The Guardian and The Observer.

Youth dives into the lives of four teenagers in Ireland’s most diverse town, Balbriggan. Angel is about to finish school and discover if Drill music and his YouTube fame can deliver on their promises. Princess is battling to escape her claustrophobic surroundings and go to university. Dean is ready to come out from under his famous father’s shadow. Tanya, struggling with the spotlight of internet infamy, is still posting her dream life for all of her faithful followers.

Praise for Youth





“Angel, Tanya, Dean and Princess are the four teenagers who roam through Curran’s third novel…They are fictional, but so loudly and vulnerably alive, they seem real. [They] speak English but it is their English. It’s the Dublin brand but they are adding to it … On the page, put there by Curran, it’s a treat and an education…Irish-English has always been wild. Kevin’s Curran’s Youth, at its liveliest, seems to be telling us that we’re only starting.”

RODDY DOYLE, Irish Times

Youth is current. It’s Here and Now! You feel the language of Youth in your very pulse.”

MELATU UCHE OKORIE, author of This Hostel Life

“Cocky, funny, complex, vulnerable – the kids in Youth deserve to be treated with seriousness, compassion and focus. And that is exactly what Curran does with such energy and confidence in this vibrant, important novel.”

WENDY ERSKINE, author of Sweet Home & Dance Move

“Youth by Kevin Curran. Here’s a rasping book, full of the kick and verve of the inner city. Loved the dialogue, the vernacular of working-class Dublin and all the minor and major concerns of youth. It’s easy to forget what it is to be young when looked at from the other end of life but Curran made me remember the fine line between triumph and disaster with his great writing and love for his characters. Great book.”

KIT DE WAAL, Irish Times Best Book of 2023

“A vivid and memorable portrait of a new emerging city from a gifted and committed writer.”

KEVIN BARRY, author of Beatlebone & Night Boat to Tangier

“Curran animates the precise, minute-to-minute oscillation between triumph and catastrophe that is adolescence. All the embarrassments, missteps, bluffs, and vulnerabilities of youth are here. And all the yearning too. He captures the voices of a diverse young Ireland, harried by racism, exploitation, and lack of opportunity, battling with itself for itself. His great skill is to carry us along so completely and so confidently, and his affection for his characters is infectious. I’m hoping against hope that these kids will be alright. It could go either way.”

KEITH RIDGWAY, author of A Shock

“Vibrant and immersive – it captures brilliantly the fragile confidence that lies at the heart of youth culture.”

RÓNÁN HESSION, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul

“Youth is a tour de force. A vital novel that embraces the tender vulnerability and brutality of adolescence. Curran vividly captures the lives of Irish young people trying to figure out who they are and what they want with evocative and edgy prose. Stunning. A must read.”

OLIVIA FITZSIMONS, author of The Quiet Whispers Never Stop

“Here is Youth, full of verve and courage and totally credible. Not a false note from start to finish. I just loved it and simply couldn’t put it down.”

CHRISTINE DWYER HICKEY, author of The Narrow Land

“Youth is a tender, unsentimental portrait of young Ireland.”

ANNA CAREY, Irish Times top 25 Summer Read

“An atmospheric, immersive novel, Youth is more than painstakingly faithful to its location – it’s faithful to the real-life experiences represented by its characters … The obvious comparison is with Roddy Doyle’s Barrytown novels, yet the style of Youth reminded me more of reading Irvine Welsh for the first time 30 years ago, and giving myself up to its language and rhythms, ready to go wherever it was taking me. Youth’s multi-narrative style lends itself perfectly to the audiobook. … It is an exceptional novel, joyous and hopeful. For all the divisive, anxiety-plagued reality of social media saturation, Youth champions solidarity and compassion.”

The Irish Times

“It takes only the first three page-flips of Youth to notice Kevin Curran’s talent for transporting readers into different cultural worlds. … Curran approaches the difficult issues with the rawness they warrant. He shows that while people can be raised differently in culture, we have more similarities than we do differences. He sheds light on the fact that, despite some cultural clashes, it possible for people following different journeys to find a beautiful intersection. Ultimately, his ability to tie in everyone’s story is indicative of the strong sense of community that still exists in small towns across Ireland. With all its diversity, Youth is uniquely Irish.”

The Irish Independent

“Rich in atmosphere … Echoes of Trainspotting resound.”

The Sunday Independent

“A compelling exploration of teen life, race and multiculturalism [with] four fascinating lead characters … it feels about time that a book like Youth was written. It addresses some of the most important issues facing Irish society.”

Hot Press

“[A] wonderfully evocative and optimistic address to Dublin …  groundbreaking in its authentic presentation of the new Irish generation … [written] with wisdom and empathy … With a distinct and original perspective on modern Irish society, Youth reaffirms its author as a significant and powerful voice.”

Totally Dublin

“An evocative account of the lives of four teenagers in the north county Dublin town; oblivious to each other, but with more in common than they realised. Sharp, keenly observed and seriously impressive.”

“A beautiful read … the language is so fresh.”

BBC Radio Ulster

Praise for previous work

“Kevin Curran’s twenty-first century … is a thrilling dispatch from life lived amid the ruins of idealism.”


“Kevin Curran … [writes] with confidence and brio.”


‘“The isolation of whole communities can be glimpsed through stories of marginalised individuals.” Kevin Curran exemplifies this idea.’


“[Curran has] some big things to say about Ireland, past and present.”


“Brings an edge of hard-won resolve to his tale while keeping mindful of broader social issues.”


“A writer of real perception and sensitivity.”


“Razor-sharp contemporary cultural commentary.”


Listen to Kevin discuss Youth with Gabriel Adewusi (Voice of Angel in the audiobook) on RTE CultureFile

Listen to Kevin discuss Youth with Sean Rocks on Arena RTE

Listen to Kevin discuss Youth with Sean Moncrieff on Newstalk

Kevin Curran ‘Doing the Work’ in the Stinging Fly

Kevin Curran’s Irish Times interview: ‘You cannot be in my class and see what I see, and not have hope.’

Kevin Curran on Witnessing a new Ireland

Bloomsday Lecture by Belinda McKeon at MoLI on Kevin Curran’s Youth and other novels from Sally Rooney & Emily Pine

Kevin Curran’s on ‘Writer’s Chat’

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