Longlisted for the 2017 Desmond Elliott Prize
'Alan McMonagle possesses a style that is all his own and I found his first novel compelling from start to finish. Read it.' Patrick McCabe, author of The Butcher Boy
Ithaca, the ferociously funny and unbelievably poignant debut novel from Alan McMonagle, combines a fiercely emotional story with crackling prose.
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. Together, they conjure exotic adventures - from ancient Egypt to the search for Ithaca, home of Odysseus. But what begin as innocent flights of fancy soon become forays into hazardous territory; the girl is a dangerous (and very committed) partner in crime.