Exciting Times author Naoise Dolan: what she loves right now, from amaretto coffee to vintage interiors

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The breakout Irish novelist shares her current obsessions with Stylist – including vegan chocolate, nosiness-indulging podcasts and the only skincare product she relies on.  

Many authors dream of the reception received by Exciting Times, Naoise Dolan’s debut novel. The Sally Rooney comparisons are inevitable: both are millennial Irish women writing subtle, modern stories filled with piercingly accurate observations on sex, relationships and class. But Dolan’s Hong Kong-set Exciting Times stands entirely on its own merits, and has the glowing reviews – and a position on the Sunday Times bestseller list – to prove it.

With a frank, bright sense of humour, Dolan is characteristically open, filling her Twitter and Instagram feeds with everything from empathetic writing advice to her thoughts on LGBTQ+ culture (she describes herself as queer) and autism (she was formally diagnosed in adulthood, something that isn’t unusual – autism is often misdiagnosed, diagnosed late or not diagnosed at all in women and girls). The Dublin-born, London-based author is also fond of a Rixo sequin, Zora Neale Hurston and a dark red lip – so in other words, she’s a woman of taste.

With that in mind, Stylist caught up with Dolan to find out what she’s loving right now. Find out more about her current favourite things below – and read her thoughts on toxic relationships, lockdown life and those Rooney comparisons in the next issue of Stylist, available on Apple News+ and the Stylist app from Monday 4 May.

  • Lullaby by Leïla Slimani

    “I love [this book] more every time I return to it – it’s published in translation by Faber. You can read it in one gulp, and you probably won’t be able to help doing that the first time. But there’s brilliant craft in it, and so much social commentary to unpack.”

    Shop Lullaby by Leïla Slimani at Waterstones, £8.99

  • Beanies Amaretto Almond Coffee

    “I constantly crave coffee but I’m not at all particular about the quality. That’s a good thing about me that I have no desire to change. I love Beanies flavoured coffee, especially the Amaretto Almond, but I’ll drink anything.”

    Shop Amaretto Almond Coffee at Beanies, £2.50

  • You’ll Do

    “Comedians Catherine Bohart and Sarah Keyworth are a real-life couple, and in this podcast they talk with other couples about what their relationships are really like. Writers are generally quite nosy, but we’re more prone to eavesdropping than active probing, so it’s perfect for me.”

    BBC Radio 4 

  • Scaramanga Mirror

    “I’m very basic about interiors because stuff kind of helplessly accumulates without my collecting it on purpose. I love the antique and vintage upcycled interior stuff from Scaramanga, especially their mirrors, but I’m happy just looking at it online.”

    Shop mirrors at Scaramanga, from £15

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan (£14.99, Orion) is out now

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