About The Book

Front Cover Final

My novel in stories, The First Sunday in September, was shortlisted for the Mercier Press Fiction Prize, 2017. It was published August 2018 and is available for sale from The Mercier Press or Amazon. Or ask for it at your local bookshop.

The book tells the story of a fictional All-Ireland Hurling Final Sunday, from the points of view of several recurring characters, exploring recurring themes.

The US publishing rights and all dramatisation rights are available for The First Sunday in September. Contact me at tadhg dot coakley at gmail dot com.

I am currently seeking a literary agent for the US rights of the book and for other forthcoming work.

The First Sunday in September has been very well reviewed and received.

From the book blurb:

‘It’s the day of the All-Ireland Hurling Final. A hungover Clareman goes to Dublin, having remortgaged his house and bet the last of the money on his county to win. An Englishwoman attends the final with her partner, wondering when to tell him that she’s pregnant. A long-retired player watches the match from the stands, his gaze repeatedly falling on the Cork captain, whom he and his wife gave up for adoption years earlier. Clare’s star forward struggles under the weight of expectation. Cork’s talisman waits for the sliotar to fall from the sky, aware that his destiny is already set.

Where to get it

Praise for The First Sunday in September

“The First Sunday in September really is quite an achievement. It has hurling at its heart but the game stands as a fulcrum around which the stories act and the stories are vibrant and authentic, brimming with the intensity and the desire and the triumphs and failures that make sporting occasions such a sublime allegory for our human condition. I enjoyed it immensely.”

Donal Ryan

‘Coakley has created a novel that uses sport as a portal into the lives of characters whose emotional struggles are explored and examined with a raw realism and a searing lack of sentimentality.’

Barry Roche, The Irish Times

‘Just like his county’s hurlers currently play, Coakley’s book is fast-moving, highly skilled and a pleasure to behold.’

Darragh McManus, The Irish Independent

‘The art here, and elsewhere, is in the compression, where a lifetime is distilled into moments … a journey that hits the senses, but more especially strikes the heart.’

The Irish Examiner

‘Imagine Raymond Carver meets Donal Ryan and you have Tadhg Coakley’s novel. His writing is taut and vivid, his voice compelling and compassionate. From the ordinary experiences of a single day, he evokes an entire complex world. A stirring new voice in Irish fiction.’

Mary Morrissy

‘Inventive, polyphonic, compelling: Coakley’s Irish chorus lifts off the page to cry out its fears and desires. A visceral sports novel, and yet so tender.’

Danny Denton

‘Tadhg Coakley deftly captures those moments when a life, like a sliotar, appears to hang suspended, mid-air, and nobody can be sure what will happen when it drops.’

Danielle McLaughlin

‘The art here, and elsewhere, is in the compression, where a lifetime is distilled into moments … a journey that hits the senses, but more especially strikes the heart.’

The Irish Examiner

‘A brave and memorable read.

Margaret Madden, The Irish Times