Blurb for Some Sort of Beauty
‘Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you to write… describe your sorrows and desires, passing thoughts and a belief in some sort of beauty.’
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet: Letter One, 17 February 1903
Jamie O’Connell’s debut collection of short stories, Some Sort of Beauty, distils the experiences, memories, regrets and hopes of a miscellany of 21st-century private worlds. The collection explores issues of faith, sexuality, travel and modern urban culture, through voices as diverse as that of a Jehovah’s Witness father coping with the death of his rebel daughter, the monologue of a woman who abandoned her young family, drug-fuelled reminiscences and stark reflections on love and the quiet tragedy of everyday moments. Underlining these narratives is a powerful humanity guided by hope, forgiveness and the redemptive power of art.
Jamie O’Connell was the 2011 Writer in Residence for Tigh Filí Cultural Centre. Reared as a Jehovah’s Witness, living in both Ireland and England, working in his early twenties as a male model (Assets Models Dublin), these experiences have influenced his first collection.
The Sunday Independent described the collection as ‘a fresh, engaging and powerful set of stories’.
Acclaimed writer Éilís Ní Dhuibhne had this to say ‘A stunning debut by a writer of great talent and courage’.
In 2011, as part of his Residency, Jamie toured the United States with the Cork Literary Review Volume XIV with Review Editor Eugene O’Connell, presenting work in San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and New York. He was selected to read at The Lonely Voice series of readings in the Irish Writer’s Centre (February 2011). He was Editor of One, a play by Michael Scott, which won the Best New Writing Award and Best Intercultural Dialogue Award at the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. His short stories have been published in a number of journals including The Poddle Dublin Review (2011), A Curious Impulse (2009) and The Bell (2009); he has been shortlisted for the Wicklow Writer’s Short Story Award (2008) and won the Thomas Harding Literary Award (2008). He has written for the Evening Echo, The Cork Independent and The Herald. He has an MA in Creative Writing from University College Dublin and a BA in English Literature from University College Cork. Jamie currently lives in Cork City.