A Time To Dance and Other Stories

By Bernard MacLaverty

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Beautifully turned stories full of humour, terse realism and moments of touching or shocking surprise.

“Nelson, with a patch over one eye, stood looking idly into Mothercare’s window. The sun was bright behind him and made a mirror out of the glass. He looked at his patch with distaste and felt it with his finger. The Elastoplast was rough and dry and he disliked the feel of it. Bracing himself for the pain, he ripped it off and let a yell out of him. A woman looked down at him curiously to see why he had made the noise, but by that time he had the patch in his pocket. He knew without looking that some of his eyebrow would be on it.”

Copyright © Bernard MacLaverty. Reproduced by permission of the author c/o Rogers, Coleridge and White Ltd., 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN

Bernard MacLaverty’s beautifully turned stories are full of humour, terse realism and moments of touching or shocking surprise.

Nelson plays truant and sees something he wishes he hadn’t in the title story, ‘A Time to Dance’.

In ‘Phonefun Limited’ Sadie and Agnes, retired prostitutes, hit upon an inventive new way of ‘making someone happy with a phone call’, while in ‘My Dear Palestrina’ a remarkable music teacher initiates her pupil onto the mysteries of art and maturity.

‘Father and Son’
‘A Time to Dance’
‘My Dear Palestrina’
‘Life Drawing’
‘Phonefun Limited’
‘The Daily Woman’
‘No Joke’
‘The Beginnings of a Sin’
‘Language, Truth and Lockjaw’

MacLaverty’s grasp of the psychology and culture of Northern Ireland in difficult times enriches our perspective of the region and the character of the life that was lived against that violent backdrop.

Further Infomation


Bernard MacLaverty’s prose ... is vivid and virtually faultless. He has the knack of breathing life into a character in the time it takes to say a simple sentence…one of the best practitioners of the genre we have.
James Campbell in The New Statesman (30 April 1982)

MacLaverty’s fiction… is the work of a contemporary master.
Alan Bold in The Sunday Standard (02 May 1982)

Ten short stories, near perfection… an anthology of diverse delights.
Publishers Weekly (23 July 1982)

Marvellous stories, written with economy and feeling. They speak directly from the heart. MacLaverty has a rare feeling for the rhythms of dialogue. I thoroughly recommend them.
Kathy O’Shaughnessy in Literary Review (July 1985)

... not since J.D.Salinger’s For Esme With Love and Squalor have I enjoyed so much a collection of stories. I mean pleasure - real pleasure.
Paul Durcan in The Cork Examiner (4th May 1982)





Cape/Blackstaff Press/Vintage


Short Stories