Julia Kelly

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Julia Kelly

Acclaimed Irish novelist and author of Matchstick Man memoir

Her debut novel With My Lazy Eye, the story of misfit Lucy was published by The Lilliput Press and Jon Riley at Quercus.


Julia won the Bord Gáis Best Newcomer of the Year Award. She was short-listed for the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award and was nominated as one of the Irish Book Awards Books of the Decade in 2010.


Julia’s second novel The Playground, about a single mother finding her independence, was published by Quercus in 2014


Her third book Matchstick Man, her account of account of living with her partner’s Alzheimers was published by Head Of Zeus to critical acclaim in May 2018


Julia lives in Bray, Co Wicklow


Praise for ”With My Lazy Eye”


“Julia Kelly is surely the freshest voice in Irish fiction since the wonderful early novels of Edna O’Brien. This is a future to watch” John Banville

John Banville


"A page-turner. Kelly’s acute observations about adolescence ring true, the reader will laugh. This is a stunning debut"

Irish Examiner

"Confident? Skilful? Full of observations to die for? It’s all of those and laugh-out-loud funny as well"

Irish Times


Praise for MatchstickMan


Julia Kelly finds beauty in words ... A sad book about the loss of a mind and the conflicting layers of a relationship. We can only sigh in relief that such a talented writer was created in the process”

Ruth Fitzmaurice, Irish Times.

“Heartbreaking ... Yet somehow, at the same time, it is uplifting and life-affirming, and at times even funny ... [Kelly] writes beautifully and with great humanity”

Irish Independent

“Kelly’s talent is such that she is able to wring so much beauty, pathos and even humour from all this trauma ... Matchstick Man challenges us to consider what a life is and, perhaps, to appreciate it all the more”

Sunday Independent


“An intensely honest and at times, almost painful to read memoir ... The book doesn’t shy away from the devastating effect the disease has on the couple’s relationship and on their young daughter. Kelly doesn’t hide any of the pain or destruction that the breakdown of her once beloved Charlie has on her life. A beautifully written, achingly honest memoir that stayed with me long after I finished it”

Sinéad Moriarty, Irish Independent, Books Of The Year


“[A] candid, affecting and beautifully written account of living with Alzheimers”

The Bookseller


“Traces the bitter reality of Alzheimers disease as few other pieces of writing have ever done”

Nenagh Guardian


“This moving book traces the reality of Alzheimers disease as few other pieces of writing have done”

The Clare Champion


“Julia Kelly writes with confidence and with meticulous attention to the grind of daily life ... She is impressively honest about her failings and his”

Sunday Times


“Ragged and terrifying, but it also achieves a rare grace, as Kelly writes her way from resentment to compassion. It is a tribute to her craft that as the book ends we can only wonder at Charlie’s fortitude, and hers”

Times Literary Supplement


“An unforgettable telling of a story that will be familiar to many thousands of people in the UK and Ireland”

Spalding Guardian


“A tragic story, but [Kelly’s] honest telling gives it an uplifting quality that leaves you cheerful rather than depressed at its end”

Irish Examiner


“A searingly honest and moving tribute”

County Down Spectator


Rights Sold


With My Lazy Eye: Lilliput (Ireland) Quercus (UK, Commonwealth, US)


The Playground Quercus (UK, Commonwealth, US)


Matchstick Man: Head of Zeus (UK, World)