'The permeable strata of Dubai society is laid bare in this subtle, and multifaceted, debut. When a young emirates woman dies in suspicious circumstances, local corruption and her family’s desire to maintain respectability means that anyone involved with her is in danger. In a city where dreams and fortunes are only as stable as the sands it’s built on, how far would you go to keep what you have?' - Recommended by Emmet Driver, Dubray Blackrock
Fates collide and lives are shattered in this stunning debut novel from an exciting new voice in Irish fiction. Jamie O’Connell weaves a delicate web of intertwining stories, combining dark wit and devastating emotional truth. For fans of John Boyne and Jeanine Cummins.A young woman’s body floats in the Dubai marina. Her death alters the fates of six people, each one striving for a better life in an unforgiving city.A young Irish man comes to stay with his sister, keen to erase his troubled past in the heat of the Dubai sun. A Russian sex worker has outsmarted the system so far – but will her luck run out? A Pakistani taxi driver dreams of a future for his daughters. An Emirate man hides the truth about who he really is. An Ethiopian maid tries to carve out a path of her own. From every corner of the globe, Dubai has made promises to them all. Promises of gilded opportunities and bright new horizons, the chance to forget the past and protect long-held secrets. But Dubai breaks its promises, with deadly consequences. In a city of mirages, how do you find your way out?Diving for Pearls follows the stories of several characters, each striving for a better life in Dubai, all linked by the body of a young woman floating in the city's marina.
Author Biography: Jamie O'Connell was Highly Commended for the Costa Short Story Award 2018, short-listed for the Maeve Binchy Award and the Sky Arts Future's Fund, and long-listed for BBC Radio 4 Opening Lines Short Story Competition. He has received bursaries from The Arts Council of Ireland, Culture Ireland, Dublin City Council and Cork City Council. He teaches in University College Dublin and works for Penguin Random House. He was on the committee of Dublin Book Festival (2014-16) and one of the judges of the Irish Bookseller of the Year Award 2018. Jamie lives in Dublin.
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