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Cocktail Bar

Cocktail Bar
  • Cocktail Bar by Norah Hoult


Originally published in 1950, Cocktail Bar is a brilliantly incisive collection of short stories, far ahead of its time, which illuminates the small, unspoken intricacies of human relationships.

From an immigrant household in London preparing to organise a ‘proper Irish wedding’ to a domineering society matron running her upper-class neighbourhood with an iron fist; from a fashionable young woman wants to be charitable towards her old and poor aunt to an Irish girl must decide between a promising future in America and marriage to her long-time beau.

Throughout these tales, Hoult reveals the contemporary realities of class and disability, office politics and women’s lives, with a sharp gaze and a gentle touch. Beautifully observed and remarkably crafted, exact and unflinching, Cocktail Bar is a modern Irish classic.

Praise For Norah Hoult 

‘Hoult is an Irish writer who has all but been forgotten. It’s time to renew the readership of this forceful wordsmith.’ – Books Ireland

‘In single sentences or short, almost throwaway asides, she can distil the very essence of her characters… New Island Books and Sinead Gleeson are to be warmly commended for resurrecting this fine collection and one can only hope that a renewed interest in Norah Hoult will see more of her out of print books enjoying a well-deserved renaissance.’ – Irish Independent

‘Her short stories are far away the best I have read this year – in fact, no comparison is possible, for I know of nothing written of late years with which to compare them. They are the unique manifestations which genius always gives us.’ – H.M. Tomlinson (1931)

‘Few writers possess keener powers of observation or bring to the use of them a wider compassion. … She has the gift too of writing dialogue, every word of which advances our knowledge of her characters, and there is no talking for talk’s sake. This is as it should be, but how rare it is to find it.’ – The Sunday Times

 ‘Miss Hoult seems to go into the marrow of her characters … There are kindliness, tenderness and compassion for the inevitable sadness and frustration of life in everything she writes.’ – The Times 

‘Discerning, versatile and sympathetic, Miss Hoult is never at a loss for a subject, never betrayed into sentimentality or a false conclusion.’ – The Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Born in Dublin in 1898, Norah Hoult was one of Ireland’s most prolific and popular authors of the 20th century, and also one of the most censored in Ireland. Hoult published journalism, novels and short stories. Her first collection, Poor Women! was published in 1928, and Hoult wrote two further collections, Nine Years is a Long Time and Cocktail Bar. Her novels include Time, Gentlemen, Time!, Holy Ireland, Four Women Grow Up, The Last Days of Miss Jenkinson and There Were No
Windows, which was reissued by Persephone Books in 2005. Hoult died in Greystones, Co. Wicklow in 1984.



Norah Hoult


B-Format, Paperback





Release Date

February 2018

Additional Information

Weight .400 g
Dimensions .198 × .129 × .10 mm


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