New Island Books - 25 Years a-Growing
  • Shift by Mia Gallagher


‘Gallagher’s hold on the short-story form is always sure and sympathetic. This collection is a marvel.’

–  Mike McCormack, winner of the Goldsmiths Prize

Prowling the streets, bedrooms, parks and schoolyards of a grubby uncertain city, where madness lurks just under the skin, men, women and those in-between enter an unsettling dance of encounters.

There’s Maisie, perfect on the inside and out, a right Primcess™ – but what’s it going to take to get a hard-copy invitation to her party? There’s the angry-deep-inside man, who gets more than he bargained for when he drinks too much at a party, insulting a mysterious guest. There’s those three lads, up from the sticks to study marketing in Belfield, who can’t help listening to the noises in their creaky Georgian house: a slamming door, a washing machine and geisha Susie downstairs, playing ‘Nights in White Satin’ to her snake. And the nixer driving a removals van with Christo, who likes dressing up on days he isn’t feeling too good.

Time passes. Roads get built, cars get faster, bubbles bust. But some things endure. The bitter violence of betrayal. Love, in all its foolish sweetness. The hurt – and sometimes healing – of loss. A magnificent achievement by one of Ireland’s greatest authors.


‘The sense of possibility here, of boundary-busting and transgression, encapsulates what Gallagher does best in this blazingly intelligent, multi-level collection.’ – Irish Independent

‘Trail-blazing…Unruly and difficult to pin down, these stories take a walk on the dark side…Gallagher’s flair for character evident on every page. Her language is innovative, her descriptions striking…In every story there were sentences I lingered over, savouring the newness of them. A highly accomplished and arresting collection.’ – Sunday Independent

‘Mia Gallagher has established herself as an experimental, highly inventive force in Irish fiction… There are sentences which dazzle you in passing, verbal cornucopias embedded in plots which confront the strange and the sad and the uncomfortable…The result is entertaining, dark, witty and constantly surprising, denying the reader even a moment to relax.’ – Sunday Business Post

‘Shift is Gallagher’s first story collection following two novels – most recently the stupendous Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland – and it’s a knockout…there’s no staleness here, no redundancy or filler, but rather a compilation of work that’s so strong it reads like the Greatest Hits of one of the best writers you’ve never yet read.’ – Bookmunch

Praise for Mia Gallagher 

‘There is so much to say about this novel. It is sprawling, but not sloppy; messy, but not a mess. There will be as many readings of it as there are readers. Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland is challenging, it is brave, it is original, it is flawed, it is moving, it is fascinating. It is art.’ – The Guardian

‘Rich in colour and broad in scope, and its many unruly pieces are similarly held in place by the strong voice of a central character…Gallagher’s writing is brilliant…Though somewhat baffling on the surface, Beautiful Pictures . . . is strangely coherent up close, like a magic-eye picture…a writer who doesn’t miss, or forget, a trick.’ – Sara Baume, The Irish Times

‘Nothing came near Mia Gallagher’s Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland for bravery and ambition this year. A skillful and fearless exploration of place, time and identity – it grapples the big themes to its heart. This is the Irish novel whose reputation will grow in the coming years.  A new generation of Irish writers may well take their lead from it.’ – Mike McCormack, Sunday Independent

‘Mia Gallagher’s remarkable Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland offers a flavour of past and potential lives. The story, which ostensibly centres on a transgendered film editor, takes the form of a montage, splicing together narratives from different periods to create a complex story about the binaries and doubleness of identity.’ – The Irish Times

‘The reader is invited into an epic in miniature, into a shocking, century-spanning, peripatetic jigsaw made of pieces of human pain that intersect and slide into one another, and the moving parts of this jigsaw, that formally coalesce in such beautiful and subtle ways, are all masterfully performed tricks to avoid the inevitable, but ever-retreating, admission of pain and loss between a daughter and her estranged father… Gallagher, I believe, with Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland, has achieved some kind of formal evolution of the novel.’ –  Oisín Fagan, The Irish Times

‘New Island have done well to snare this, but we hope a UK publisher is also on the cards, because this book needs an international audience.’ – Bookmunch

About the Author

Mia Gallagher was born in Dublin, where she lives and works. Her novels are HellFire (Penguin, 2006), awarded the Irish Tatler Literature Award 2007, and Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland (New Island, 2016), longlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Award 2016, and published in the UK by Head of Zeus in 2018. Mia has received several Literature Bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland and has enjoyed the role of writer-in-residence in many different environments. Her award-winning short fiction has appeared widely in journals and anthologies. Mia has also written for the stage and worked as an actor. Shift is her first short-story collection.



Mia Gallagher


C-Format, PB





Release Date

April 2018

Additional Information

Weight .300 g
Dimensions .198 × .129 × .15 mm


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SKU: 9781848406698 - Need Help? Contact Us Leave Feedback

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