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Exciting Times

UK Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
US Publisher: Ecco

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.


‘Very funny and really mean’ ― Zadie Smith

‘A sharp, smart, witty modern love story’ ― David Nicholls

‘As brilliant as everyone says’ ― Marian Keyes

‘Ice cool, self-aware and very funny. Shares of Lorrie Moore and The Bell Jar’ ― Graham Norton

‘Droll, shrewd and unafraid – a winning debut’ ― Hilary Mantel

‘It’s flawless’ ― Colm Tóibín in The Wall Street Journal

‘A taut, gripping book full of unsympathetic characters that for some reason you remain extremely invested in’ ― Nesrine Malik on the Women’s Prize for Fiction panel

Naoise Dolan is an Irish writer born in Dublin. She studied at Trinity College, followed by a master’s in Victorian...