James Martyn Joyce

What’s Not Said


9781851320387 paperback

9781851320486 limited edition

James Martyn Joyce’s masterly, debut short fiction collection, What’s Not Said, draws a different kind of attention to the small world of land purchase, building and resentment entrenched in the Irish psyche. These interlinked stories are populated by skinny-denimed squirrels and sawn-off shotguns, where plasterers and electricians swarm over the shell of a house like fat flies cleaning out a carcass. With a gimlet eye he uncovers an Ireland of greed, betrayal and consequences with writing that is sharp, unsettling, lyrical, yet not without humour, throwing a spotlight on lives that fester behind the ordinary … where what he didn’t know couldn’t kick his door in at 4.00am and nail him to the bed with lead rivets. From the beautifully nuanced ‘Dust Woman’ to such disquieting examples as ‘Benny’s Case’, ‘What’s Not Said’ and ‘Give Them Nothing’, Joyce limns the shadow seam of Ireland with inference rather than statement, leaving the reader to search between the lines and bring into the light what’s not said, what can’t be said and even if it’s not said it always filters back. Now that’s what a good short story is all about’ – Geraldine Mills

‘With a few, sudden strokes he can sketch out a whole world … a stylish and startling debut’ – Mike McCormack

James Martyn Joyce is a poet and fiction writer from Galway. Winner of many awards for his writing, his debut poetry collection, Shedding Skin, was published by Arlen House in 2010. What’s Not Said is his debut short fiction collection.