Dec 21, 2022
‘blistering comedy’ Factory Girls is longlisted for the ‘Comedy Women In Print’ Prize
Now in its fourth successful year the Comedy Women In Print Prize is the UK & Ireland's first comedy literary prize dedicated to celebrating witty women's writing
Set in Northern Ireland in 1994, Factory Girls follows Maeve and her two friends who get a summer job in the local shirt factory. Smart-mouthed and filthy-minded, Maeve Murray has always felt like an outsider in the shitty wee town in Northern Ireland that she calls home. She hopes her exam results will be her ticket to a new life in London; a life where no one knows her business, or cares about her dead sister. But first she's got to survive a tit-for-tat paramilitary campaign as brutal as her relationship with her mam, iron 800 shirts a day to keep her summer job and dodge the attentions of Handy Andy Strawbridge, her dubious English boss.
Maeve and her two best friends try to squeeze as much fun as possible into their last summer at home. But as marching season raises tensions among the Catholic and Protestant workforce, Maeve realises something is going on behind the scenes at the factory, forcing her to make a choice that will impact her life - and the lives of others - for ever.
“Factory Girls is full of the stuff that we're starting to expect of Michelle Gallen; wild, hilariously angry characters, and language that is vital, bang-on, and seriously funny."
Roddy Doyle, Booker Prize-winning author of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and Love
“Michelle Gallen's Factory Girls pulses with dark, irreverent humor. Set in a place where dreams are laughable at best, dangerous at worst, it's a big F you to the only world these characters know. And yet, there's vulnerability here. Hope, too. I loved it."
Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes
“This novel is a wonder; the heroine is cheeky, the humor dark, the dialect thick, the sorrow palpable.”
Library Journal, starred review
“Gallen fluidly juxtaposes the pedestrian worries of small-town life against the Troubles of the mid-1990s… For fans of Derry Girls and the plucky heroines of Marian Keyes.”
Booklist, starred review
“This novel is as hilarious as it is heartbreaking: not to be missed.”
“A cracking, confident follow-up: at times savagely funny, but with a loamy undertow of complex feeling . . . the highlights are . . . its deft characterization, observational humour and cracking dialogue . . . this entertaining, touching novel should also appeal to fans of contemporary authors such as Lisa McInerney, Louise Kennedy and Roddy Doyle."
The Sunday Times (UK)
“Street-smart, ballsy and bold . . . The world of Factory Girls is filtered through her darkly witty mind, but it’s also punctuated by shocking and sudden violence . . . Gallen’s pen draws blood with the sharpness of her observations, rendering a fresh and acutely more complex portrait of Northern Ireland through Maeve’s eyes. Gallen asks, what can one young woman do with hope? Maeve Murray answers . . . Brilliantly, wickedly funny and soul-crushingly sad, Gallen has written the Vienetta of books this summer."