Naoise Dolan

Exciting Times

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Naoise Dolan explodes onto the scene with EXCITING TIMES, a slyly humorous and scorchingly smart modern love story about three cynics in Hong Kong.

Ava, newly arrived in Hong Kong from Dublin, spends her days teaching English to rich children.

Julian is a banker. A banker who likes to spend money on Ava, to have sex and discuss fluctuating currencies with her. But when she asks whether he loves her, he cannot say more than 'I like you a great deal'.

Enter Edith, a lawyer. Refreshingly enthusiastic and unapologetically earnest, Edith takes Ava to the theatre when Julian leaves Hong Kong for work. Quickly, she becomes something Ava looks forward to.

And then Julian writes to tell Ava he is coming back to Hong Kong... Should Ava return to the easy compatibility of her life with Julian or take a leap into the unknown with Edith?

Politically alert, heartbreakingly raw, and dryly funny, EXCITING TIMES is thrillingly attuned to the great freedoms and greater uncertainties of modern love. In stylish, uncluttered prose, Naoise Dolan dissects the personal and financial transactions that make up a life-and announces herself as a singular new voice.

Author: Naoise Dolan

Trade Paperback  Published March 2021  277 oages

Originally published April 2020

Read and Recommended by Hendri

"Naoise Dolan's Exciting Times was such a fun read. Perfect for us who are growing up in the Internet era, when too many options do not necessarily make our life easier. For those who love Sally Rooney's Normal People, this book is definitely a must-read queer version of Normal People. This volume follows follows a young Irish expat who becomes embroiled in a puzzling relationship with a male banker and a female lawyer. One small step will certainly change the arrangement of this triangle attachment."


"Half Sally Rooney love triangle, half glitzy Crazy Rich Asians high living—and guaranteed to please." 


"Echoes of Sally Rooney's Conversations with Friends resound in this exacting debut novel about a young Irish woman living in Hong Kong who becomes embroiled in a love triangle with a wealthy man and woman." (O, the Oprah Magazine)

“Droll, shrewd and unafraid—a winning debut.”  (Hilary Mantel)

“Hands down one of the most anticipated debuts of the year ... A piercingly provocative look at modern love and power games.” (Book Riot)

"Dolan’s preoccupation with power is often couched in humor but always expertly observed. Her elegantly simple writing allows her ideas and musings to shine. A refreshingly wry and insightful debut." (Kirkus Reviews)

"[A] wry, tender debut.... Dolan’s smart, brisk debut works as a charming comedy of manners." (Publishers Weekly)

“[Exciting Times] teems with insight around class, race, language and sexuality. Likely to fill the Sally-Rooney-shaped hole in many readers' lives.” (Irish Times)


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