'The Country Road' moves heartbreakingly through the days of Cathy, a lonely eight-year-old in a Northern Ireland populated by her elderly neighbours and the vague menace of the security forces. In 'Bronagh', the eponymous heroine is wrenched from an idyllic sojourn in Andalucia when her mother falls ill, embarking on a homeward journey of oblivion along the western flank of Europe. 'A Banal Stain' tells the story of a graduate student lodging in a once-grand house in Lyon and confronting the ghosts of France's colonial and Vichy past. In 'A Recitation of Nomads' an English painter and her American writer boyfriend, slouching through their twenties together, light out for Morocco to mend their dreams. And 'The Marriage at Antibes' is an arranged one between a political refugee, long settled in France, and his newly arrived bride. These stories of travel, unbelonging and otherness, related with the poised eye of a young Elizabeth Bowen, and with remarkable emotional power, announce a compelling voice in Irish fiction.