The National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35, 2015

Colin Barrett

Young Skins

(Black Cat / Grove Atlantic)

Selected by Paul Yoon


Colin Barrett was born in 1982 and grew up in County Mayo, Ireland. In 2009 he was awarded the Penguin Ireland Prize. Young Skins won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His stories have appeared in Stinging Fly magazine, A Public Space, Five Dials, and The New Yorker. Young Skins is his first book.

About the book

A recovering addict drifts closer to the oblivion he’d hoped to avoid by returning to his home town; two estranged friends hide themselves away in a darkened pub, reluctant to attend the funeral of the woman they both loved; a bouncer who cannot envisage a world beyond the walls of the small town nightclub his life revolves around.

Set for the most part in the fictional County Mayo town of Glanbeigh, Colin Barrett’s stories deftly explore the wayward lives and loves of young men and women in contemporary post-boom Ireland. Young Skins offers an utterly unique reading experience and marks the appearance of an arresting and innovative new voice in Irish writing.

Suggested Link

- Twitter: @ColinBarrett82

Get the Book:


- Barnes & Noble


- iBooks

- WorldCat (Library catalog)

About 5 Under 35 Selecting author

Paul Yoon

Paul Yoon was born in New York City. He is the author of Once the Shore, which was a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 selection, and the novel Snow Hunters, which won the 2014 Young Lions Fiction Award. He is currently a Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.