A remarkable Irish family saga about the messiness of modern family life—a major debut from a blazing new talent that’s already an international sensation
“Sarah Gilmartin gives us terrific, complex characters and strong themes, in prose that is charged with insight.” —Anne Enright
“The search is off -- here is our next read. Here is an expert writer.” —Meg Mason
A riveting, beautifully written, and poignant coming-of-age story about the heartrending complications of sibling relationships and the trauma of family secrets, perfect for fans of Kate Atkinson, Maggie O’Farrell, and Anne Enright.
Kate has taught herself to be careful, to be meticulous.
To mark the anniversary of a death in the family, she plans a dinner party - from the fancy table settings to the perfect Baked Alaska waiting in the freezer. Yet by the end of the night, old tensions have flared, the guests have fled, and Kate is spinning out of control.
But all we have is ourselves, her father once said, all we have is family.
Set between the 1990s and the present day, from a farmhouse in Carlow to Trinity College, Dublin, Dinner Party is a dark, sharply observed debut told with sharp, elegant humour that thrillingly unravels into family secrets and tragedy.
About the Author
SARAH GILMARTIN is a critic who reviews fiction for the Irish Times. She is co-editor of the anthology Stinging Fly Stories and has an MFA from University College Dublin. She won Best Playwright at the inaugural Short+Sweet Dublin festival. Her short stories have been published in The Dublin Review, New Irish Writing and shortlisted for the RTÉ Francis MacManus Short Story Award. Her story “The Wife” won the 2020 Máirtín Crawford Award at BelfastBook Festival. Sarah recently received a bursary for her novel-in-progress from the Arts Council of Ireland.
“Gilmartin's dialogue sparkles, and her understanding of family dynamics is sharp. "Dinner Party" is a smooth read, a true feast of dysfunction.” --The Minneapolis Star Tribune
"People’s masks slip in Dinner Party, a sedulous novel in which a family confronts its demons with determination." --Foreword Reviews