Old Romantics – Available now!

Maggie Armstrong


A few years ago my husband recommended me for a job in his company. I thought it would be fun, and so a woman named Rosaleen would ring me for a chat. Rosaleen was a senior director in the firm, and these were scheduled chats, but I was always unprepared, running from a room, looking for a pen, or out in the rain, pushing the baby in the pram. Rosaleen had a terse and serious manner that unwound into listless expectation when my turn came to speak. I would say something and she would wait for me to say something better. Rosaleen savoured a pause. The line burned with a shared misgiving even as she made me an astounding offer.

A woman pursues a man who cut ahead of her in a line. Two nice people report that a child is being left unsupervised at a local beach. Romances, old and new, shift and sour.

Old Romantics is an acutely observed and hideously entertaining collection of linked short stories from an astonishing new talent. Slippery, flawed and acute, Maggie Armstrong’s narrator navigates a world of awkward expectation and latent hostility.

Maggie Armstrong

MAGGIE ARMSTRONG’s work has appeared in the Dublin Review, The Stinging Fly, Banshee, and elsewhere. The author was longlisted for a 2023 Irish Book Award. She lives in Dublin.