Tue, 17 Mar | Better Read Than Dead

Sean O'Beirne - A Couple of Things Before the End - CANCELLED

Sean O'Bierne's brilliant debut collection mixes the storytelling originality of George Saunders and Lydia Davis with a sensibility all his own, taking you on an extraordinary tour of an old and a new Australia. He discusses A Couple of Things Before the End with the one and only Patrick Lenton.
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Sean O'Beirne - A Couple of Things Before the End - CANCELLED

Time & Location

17 Mar 2020, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Better Read Than Dead, 265 King St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia

About The Event

Sean O'Bierne's brilliant debut collection mixes the storytelling originality of George Saunders and Lydia Davis with a sensibility all his own, taking the reader on an extraordinary tour of an old and a new Australia. 

Find out why Helen Garner and Christos Tsiolkas are fans. 

Sean discusses A Couple of Things Before the End with the one and only Patrick Lenton.

 

This is a FREE event. Drinks and nibbles provided.  

 

About the Book

This brilliant collection mixes the storytelling originality of George Saunders and Lydia Davis with a sensibility all its own, taking the reader on an extraordinary tour of an old and a new Australia.

A woman on a passenger ship in 1958 gets involved with a young, wild Barry Humphries. A man looks back to the 1970s and his time as a member of Australia’s least competent scout troop. In 1988, a teenage boy recalls his sexual initiation, out on the tanbark. In 2015, two sisters text in Kmart about how to manage their irascible, isolated mum. 

Then, in the near future, a racist demagogue addresses the press the day after his electoral triumph. As the cities heat up and lose their water, a lady from one of the ‘better suburbs’ makes every effort to get her family into an exclusive gated community. 

Outstandingly original, bitingly satirical and written in a remarkable range of voices, A Couple of Things Before the End is a powerful vision of where we are – and where we may be headed.

Praise

‘These voices, so superbly heard and rendered, threw me into fits of laughter and slyly broke my heart.’ —Helen Garner

‘Astonishing . . . an inventive collection of missives from the end of history. Complicated and savage and difficult and funny and melancholy, it’s both harsh and a caress. How do we speak and write into a future? I think Sean O’Beirne is showing us one way of doing it.’ —Christos Tsiolkas 

‘O’Beirne inflects his identifiably Australian characters with a darkly comic and empathetic voice … altogether, this collection invokes [our] questionable past, ironic present and disturbing future.’ —Books + Publishing 

 

About the Author

Sean O’Beirne is a bookseller and critic. He grew up in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, and studied arts, law and acting. A Couple of Things Before the End is his first book.  

About Patrick Lenton

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