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Reading & Signing: This Train is For at The Secret Bookshelf, Carrickfergus

18. July 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Set in the secret garden in The Courtyard, Carrickfergus, The Secret Bookshelf is a hidden gem of a shop. From our showroom of new and lovely books, browse our bespoke rooms: our geek-den, crime-alley, family room, and second hand store. Come up the stairs and let us, and the shop, transport you into the world of books, where we’re always happy to help with recommendations, take orders, or just chat about book-love.

Bernie McGill will read from her new short story collection This Train is For at The Secret Bookshelf on Monday 18th July at 2pm.

This new collection, her first since 2013, contains unpublished stories along with a number of previously published stories featured within award winning anthologies.

This Train is For portrays the complexities of the heart with sensitivity and acute psychological insight. Rendered in the most perfect prose, Bernie McGill presents lives in physical and emotional transit, uncertain of the journey’s destination, understanding that sometimes the most important moments in our lives involve travelling not forward, but to moments we thought we had left long behind.’ David Park

‘Bernie McGill is one of the most accomplished short story writers in Ireland today. These stories contain powerful truths and unsettling revelations, delivered in the gentlest voice. An absolute joy of a collection from start to finish with not a word wasted or misplaced.’ Jan Carson

‘Wonderful stories of journeys geographical and of the inner kind.’ Bernard MacLaverty

‘Bernie McGill brings her precise, lyrical, deceptively quiet style to these stories in a collection that gleams. This Train is For is the work of a decade, and it shows; each story burnished; and a book that’s a beautiful addition to No Alibis Press.’ Lucy Caldwell 

This Train is For is a dazzling exercise in compression, and an exemplification of what the short story form can achieve.’ Neil Hegarty

‘Beneath the exquisite surface – at once lyrical and plain-spoken – of each of these stories is carried a great freight of feeling that McGill handles with humanity and restraint. An excellent collection from one of the finest short story writers working in Ireland today.’ Louise Kennedy

‘Derry-born Bernie McGill’s second collection of stories has been eight years in the making, and it was worth the wait. There’s a welcome wit peppering the stories…  closing lines that satisfy while leaving enough open to keep the reader thinking. It’s a rare achievement that McGill makes look easy. But the best story might be the last, In the Interests of Wonder, which takes an illusionist’s visit to a school and invests it with sinister strangeness. It reminded me of Thomas Mann’s great allegory of power and credulity, Mario and the Magician, and I can offer no higher praise than that.’
John Self, Irish Times


The Secret Bookshelf
38 Scotch Quarter
Carrickfergus, BT38 7DP United Kingdom
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