The tales in Young Skins, Colin Barrett’s first collection of short stories, take place in Glanbeigh, a fictional town in County Mayo, Ireland.
Despite its fictional existence, Glanbeigh is a place of harsh realities, filled with depression, alcoholism and bad decisions. Colin’s intoxicating stories are filled with moments of despair and hope. He skilfully laces subtle references to myths and legends throughout the collection, creating layers of intrigue. In Kindly Forget My Name, Eli and Doran debate whether or not to attend the funeral of their bandmate Maryanne in a pub called the Boatman, a reference to the mythological underworld of ancient Greece. In The Clancy Kid Jimmy and Tug have a run in with a rival called Cucullan, who shares his name with a hero from Irish legend who was an enemy of Connacht and Mayo. Young Skins is a bold, visceral look at how people overcome, or are defeated by, the challenges that life throws their way.