Shortlisted for The Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2017.
One of our Books of the Year 2016.
December 2016 Debut of the Month.
Dublin-wise, orphaned young man goes in search of his birth mother. He has a photograph with a note on the back and the name of a village. This is very Irish and completely charming. The village characters are beautifully drawn. Our young protagonist has a gift; he can see (and converse with) the dead. This is neither ghost story nor detective novel although both elements are present, more it is a human story of an odd community of slightly over-the-top country people who might all have something to hide. Certainly finding out what happened to his young, teenage mother proves to be tricky with most folk seeming to conceal a secret. The dead are not sinister, they are just there, being themselves. I loved the pictures the author paints, the dog lying by its master’s feet, the man trying to hang up his hat. Lovely images in a lovely debut. Highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland's west coast, he brings only a photograph of his long-lost mother and a determination to do battle with the lies of his past. No one - living or dead - will tell Mahony what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby, despite his certainty that more than one of the villagers knows the sinister truth. Between Mulderrig's sly priest, its pitiless nurse and the caustic elderly actress throwing herself into her final village play, this beautiful and darkly comic debut novel creates an unforgettable world of mystery, bloody violence and buried secrets.
Closing date: 04/07/2018
'An intriguing story of family secrets and haunting' -- ANDREW MICHAEL HURLEY, author of The Loney
'I love this book. It's a magic realist murder mystery set in rural Ireland, in which the dead play as important a part as the living. It's one of those books that has you smiling as you read, and that you plan to read again very soon.' -- LOUIS DE BERNIERES, author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin
'Himself is a sort of Under Milk Wood meets The Third Policeman meets Agatha Christie. It's a highly unusual tale set in a highly unusual Irish village full of dark secrets and engaging characters (not all of them still alive). Lushly imagined, delightfully original and very, very funny, it hurtles along from the very first page. A hugely enjoyable read. I can't wait for more from Jess Kidd' -- ML STEDMAN, author of The Light Between Oceans
'Jess Kidd is a genius. Her prose sparkles with wit, savagery and startling originality. I loved it' -- TASHA KAVANAGH, author of Things We Have In Common
'Beautiful, haunting and veined with wicked wit, Himself is a mystery you want to tear through, written in prose you want to savour' -- SIMON WROE, author of Chop Chop
Publication date: 27/10/2016
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
|Publication date:||27th October 2016|
|Publisher:||Canongate Books Ltd|
|Genres:||Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Jess Kidd completed her first degree in Literature with The Open University, and has since taught creative writing and gained a PhD in Creative Writing Studies. She has also worked as a support worker specialising in acquired brain injury. Jess was brought up in London as part of a large family from Mayo, and plans to settle somewhere along the west coast of Ireland in the next few years. Until then, she lives in London with her daughter. author photo © Travis McBrideMore About Jess Kidd