McMonagle
2019 Longlist

Ithaca

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

Ithaca, the ferociously funny and unbelievably poignant debut novel from Alan McMonagle, combines a fiercely emotional story with crackling prose.

This was the summer after all the money disappeared. One minute it was here. The next it had vanished. All of it. Without a trace . . . Now that all the money had vanished everyone had their eyes and ears ready for all manner of doom. Summer 2009, and eleven-year-old Jason Lowry is preoccupied with thoughts of the Da he has never known. In the meantime, his vodka-swilling, swings-from-the-hip Ma is busy entertaining her latest boyfriend and indulging her fondness for joyriding. Jason escapes to the Swamp: a mysteriously rising pool of fetid water on the outskirts of the town. There, he meets the girl, a being as lost as himself, and with even less regard for reality. Together, they conjure exotic adventures – from ancient Egypt to the search for Ithaca, home of Odysseus.

But what begins as innocent flights of fancy soon become forays into hazardous territory; the girl is a dangerous (and very committed) partner in crime.

 

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Alan
McMonagle

Alan McMonagle has written for radio, published two collections of short stories: Liar, Liar, and Psychotic Episodes – both of which were nominated for the Frank O’Connor Award – and contributed stories to many journals in Ireland and North America. He lives in Galway. His debut novel, Ithaca, was published in 2017.

Alan McMonagle has written for radio, published two collections of short stories: Liar, Liar, and Psychotic Episodes – both of which were nominated for the Frank O’Connor Award – and contributed stories to many journals in Ireland and North America. He lives in Galway. His debut novel, Ithaca, was published in 2017.

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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Ithaca is a post – Celtic-Tiger odyssey / coming-of-age tale set in a fictional Midlands town. The protagonist is a young boy with a troubled mother and a lonely existence. He longs to find out the identity of his father and falls under the spell of a mysterious young girl. The book is very well written in a crisp style and is brimming with pathos and longing.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
01/01/2017
Publisher
Picador

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