The Weight of a Human Heart by Ryan O’Neill | Black Inc.

The Weight of a Human Heart

Awards for The Weight of a Human Heart

  • Shortlisted for the Australian Short Story Collection Prize in the 2012 Queensland Literary Awards
  • Shortlisted for the UTS Glenda Adams Award in the 2013 NSW Premier's Literary Awards
  • Shortlisted for the First Book Award in the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Awards

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About the author

Ryan O’Neill

Ryan O’Neill is the author of The Weight of a Human Heart and Their Brilliant Careers. He was born in Glasgow in 1975 and has lived in Africa, Europe and Asia before settling in Newcastle, Australia, with his wife and …

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Praise for The Weight of a Human Heart

‘Vital storytelling and literary flourishes distinguish Scottish author O’Neill’s creative story collection. What brings all of the tonal diversity together is O’Neill’s obvious understanding of the cohesiveness of language, its power to transcend and overcome, and the way an economy of precious words in a short story can achieve a novel’s worth of emotion.’ —Publisher's Weekly


The Weight of a Human Heart is refreshing, funny, devastating … O’Neill is a smart and daring writer; he challenges the conventions of short fiction, but his stories are still deeply satisfying and offer glimpses into worlds readers need to see, worlds that are vile, beautiful, and utterly human.’ —Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise


‘A book that delights in scuffing the conventions of short fiction … O'Neill brings playfulness into stories for a literate audience’ —Sydney Morning Herald 


‘In the hands of this able practitioner the minor art form of the short story becomes major art.’ —Bookseller+Publisher


‘Tremendously satisfying … this is the most entertaining short story collection I've come across. Ever.’ —Ilura Gazette


‘Stories full of wit, irony, wild invention, love and pain — and sometimes shocking power.’ —Paddy O’Reilly

‘By turns acerbic, playful and serious, O’Neill is equally at home with satire and pathos.’ —Cate Kennedy


‘With each new story O’Neill redefines the boundaries of what is possible’ —Patrick Cullen


‘Clever, uproarious, dazzling collection of short stories’ —Monthly 


‘An impressive collection of stories’ —Verity La


‘Full of verve and wit.’ —Canberra Times


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