Exciting Times: A Novel (Paperback)

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“This debut novel about an Irish expat millennial teaching English and finding romance in Hong Kong is half Sally Rooney love triangle, half glitzy Crazy Rich Asians high living—and guaranteed to please.” Vogue 

The New York Times Book Review * Vogue * TIME * Marie Claire * Elle * O, the Oprah Magazine * The Washington Post * Esquire * Harper's Bazaar * Bustle * PopSugar * Refinery 29 * LitHub * Debutiful

An intimate, bracingly intelligent debut novel about a millennial Irish expat who becomes entangled in a love triangle with a male banker and a female lawyer

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 Hong Kong–born lawyer, striking and ambitious, Edith takes Ava to the theater and leaves her tulips in the hallway. Ava wants to be her—and wants her. 

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.

About the Author

Naoise Dolan is an Irish writer born in Dublin. She studied at Trinity College, followed by a master’s in Victorian literature at Oxford. She writes fiction, essays, criticism and features for publications including The London Review of Books, The Guardian and Vogue. Her debut novel Exciting Times was published by W&N in the UK and by Ecco in the US in 2020, and became a Sunday Times bestseller, widely translated and optioned for TV. She has been shortlisted and longlisted for several prizes, including The Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Dylan Thomas Prize and The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award.

Praise For…

"Jealousy and obsession, love and late capitalism, sex and the internet all come whirling together in a wry and bracing tale of class and privilege.”
New York Times Book Review

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

— Vogue

"Edna O’Brien. Tana French. Sally Rooney. Enter fellow Irishwoman Dolan, whose knowing, superbly observed debut novel marks the young author as a major force. This sardonic rom-com chronicles the escapades of 22-year-old Ava, a desultory millennial teaching abroad inHong Kong, where she meets Julian, an aloof British banker, and Edith, a wealthy Chinese lawyer. What ensues is an enchantingly neurotic love triangle in a time of economic and existential tumult."
— O, the Oprah Magazine

“In fewer than 250 pages, [Dolan] has captured the touchstone millennial tension between sardonicism and sincerity — the electric ambivalence of figuring out how to be a person in these times. . . . Dolan has buttoned-up elocution, taut phrasing and sharp angles. . . . Exciting Times is a funny novel (both haha and weird), resisting the pull of melodrama in favor of a sharp point of view and an intense concern with language. . . . [and] is indeed engaged with the ways class, inequality and politics manifest in social life.”
Los Angeles Times

“That dive into human consciousness . . . separates Dolan from the countrywoman to whom she is often compared, novelist Sally Rooney (“Normal People”). While both writers deal with class — offering cutting observations — Dolan pushes further to confront why we put up with it in the first place.”
Washington Post

"Dolan crafts sharp commentary on the intersection of longing, class and power."

"Wry, stylish.... In this witty satire of the haves and have nots, Dolan explores tender, insightful truths about the vagaries of modern love."

— Esquire

“Wonderfully intuitive and fluid…. An examination of sex, queerness, self-sabotage, power, and privilege."
The New Yorker

"A love triangle like you've never seen it before.... Wry and sardonic, Dolan relentlessly examines untold truths about love, classicism, and ambition."
Marie Claire

“A love story packed with irony and introspection.”
— Elle

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062968753
ISBN-10: 0062968750
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: March 16th, 2021
Pages: 256
Language: English