Kevin Breathnach: ‘I was interested in figuring out why I was so pretentious’

Blending refined aesthetics with startling self-revelation – and a fair few lies – the Irish author’s essays offer readers a compelling puzzle

Kevin Breathnach would like to clear something up: he’s never been a professional skateboarder. Good, you might say, I never said he was. But Breathnach’s debut essay collection Tunnel Vision reveals a relationship with the truth that is dizzyingly fluid, where the problem is not only the repeated telling of lies, but also of undoing them.

“This is my opportunity – I never got to address this lie in the book,” he says; understandably, he seems to have lost track of the untruths. “I told everyone at college that I had once been a sponsored skateboarder. Ten years on, people who know me still believe it. It just travelled too fast.” Does he know why he told that lie in the first place, I ask, and he shrugs as if to say, ‘Well, why wouldn’t I?’

Related: Tunnel Vision by Kevin Breathnach review – self-lacerating honesty and lies

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