A Kind of Compass: Stories on Distance

Belinda McKeon



And yet it hardly ever looks like the same direction; almost always, sitting there in your hand, this magnet to the pull of the world, it looks like a direction you’ve never taken before. And besides, you don’t have to go there. You don’t have to take the path at which the needle nudges. Knowing it’s there, you can veer off course. Knowing it’s there, you can go anywhere. The needle will still know what it knows.

With stories from some of the best writers working today, A Kind of Compass brings us to places and situations we could never otherwise experience. Funny, unnerving, vivid and real, these stories evoke the nature of distance, exploring the many ways in which it is possible to feel far from home.

Contributors: Sam Lipsyte, Maria Takolander, Gina Apostol, Sara Baume, Kevin Barry, Mark Doten, David Hayden, Elske Rahill, Ross Raisin, Porochista Khakpour, Francesca Marciano, Niven Govinden, Yoko Ogawa, E.C. Osondu, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Suzanne Scanlon, and Éilís Ní Dhuibhne.


This vital collection does what the best stories and the best journeys do; takes you out of yourself into other places, other lives.’Sunday Times

‘This is the first book newly-formed Tramp Press have published since Baume’s astonishing debut Spill Simmer Falter Wither, and the standard is just as impressive.’ Irish Independent

‘Honest and endearing in its exploration of an often-neglected theme, A Kind of Compass is a perfect success.’ The UCD Observer

‘Niven Govinden’s ‘Animal Heart’ is a mere two pages long, but packs an emotional punch that many novels would envy.’ – 746 Books

‘The Rape Essay (or Multilated Pages), is a riveting, illuminating and humorous story, about sexual harassment in academia.’The Examiner

‘Always taking risks with ground-breaking subject matter and exciting debut authors, independent publishers are the ones in the know when it comes the next big thing in literature.’ – Stylist



Belinda McKeon

Belinda McKeon is the author of Solace (2011), which won the Geoffrey Faber Prize and was also voted Irish Book of the Year 2011, and Tender (2015). McKeon’s stories and non-fiction have been published in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Paris Review and the Irish Times. Born in Longford, she now lives in Brooklyn and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Rutgers University.