Caoilinn Hughes – Bristol Festival of Ideas
23rd May, 2019
Each month we invite a debut novelist to read from and talk about their work in an informal setting. Topics of discussion include theme, structure, inspiration and the craft of writing. These sessions are a great way to discover new writing talent and great books. In July, Caoilinn Hughes talks about Orchid & the Wasp.
Dazzling and daringly original, Hughes’ debut novel tells the story of an unforgettable young woman’s coming of age across Dublin, London, and New York. Gael Foess is a heroine of mythic proportions. Raised in Dublin by single-minded, careerist parents, she learns from an early age how ideals and ambitions can be compromised. When her father walks out during the 2008 crash, her family falls apart. Determined to build a life-raft for her loved ones, Gael sets off for London and New York, proving how little it takes to game the system – but is it really exploitation if the loser isn’t aware of what he’s losing?
Written in electric, heart-stopping prose, Orchid & the Wasp is a dazzlingly original novel about gigantic ambitions and social upheaval, chewing through sexuality, class and politics with joyful, anarchic fury.