Kevin Maher

A father's illness, a girlfriend's mental breakdown and abuse by a priest, all set against a background of class conflict and nationalist tensions: Jim, the 14-year-old protagonist of The Fields, faces catastrophe after catastrophe. But Kevin Maher's debut novel is hardly dour. Instead, the jokes — simultaneously funny and brave — never stop coming.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Kevin Maher is the author of The Fields, which comes out in the U.S in August.