Peripheral Vision, a short story collection


‘This near-perfect short-story collection from Paddy O’Reilly is so blackly comic and bitingly clever that it makes you wonder what it feels like to live with such a masterful command of language and style…O’Reilly is an expert at exploring the complexities of our world and the messes we make of it, and Peripheral Vision is the work of an author at the top of her form.’ Books + Publishing

‘A writer of considerable poise and ingenuity…O’Reilly’s imagination is never predictable, and her readers will thrill to the kinds of strange harmonies she composes in this collection.’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘In her latest collection, Peripheral Vision, Paddy O’Reilly proves to be one of Australia’s most accomplished authors of the long-wave story. Peripheral Vision has expansive energy, and will fascinate readers with a taste for open endings and vivid voices.’ The Australian

‘O’Reilly’s are stories that often catch you unawares…these reveal more and more upon rereading. This is a great collection, which also burns an impression on our imagination.’ Australian Book Review

‘O’Reilly’s 18 stories are generally quite short but the “trees” they generate are substantial and many branched, the characters distinctive, their responses complex and unexpected.’ Adelaide Advertiser

‘there is an underlying bass tone, a pedal point, of fancy here too; but it is harder-edged and animated by the ironic epiphany that strips away assumptions of intimacy and expectation.’ West Australian

About the book:

A teenager on the tram meets an old man claiming to be Jesus Christ. Six young women band together on a night prowl. A Filipino immigrant clashes with his eldest sister, who has brought him to Australia for a better life. And in a future where dogs have risen up against their owners, a mother is alarmed by her adolescent daughter’s behaviour.

Through such diverse characters, Paddy O’Reilly takes us into the fringes of human nature – our hidden thoughts, our darker impulses and our unspoken tragedies. By turns elegiac and acerbic, but always acutely observed, Peripheral Vision confirms O’Reilly as one of our most inventive and insightful writers.