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Aug 31, 2023

‘lyrical and compassionate’
The Celestial Realm published today by Eriu, Bonnier

Molly Hennigan’s

"Phil doesn't like physical affection. She doesn't love you because you don't exist. She doesn't care if you have something important coming up. A busy week, a daunting appointment, a divorce, because she believes the world is going to end in the morning. Every morning."

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Having grown up visiting her grandmother in various psychiatric hospitals, Molly Hennigan began writing about the gaps in and intimacies of her relationship with this matriarch. Tracing the organic path of her grandmother's experience to her great-grandmother's time in Irish metal hospitals, she explores her own family trauma and what it means to be an unconventional woman in a society that values conformity.

A young woman's exploration of intergenerational trauma and the devastating effects of mental ill health brings her to new realisations and hope for the future

Praise for The Celestial Realm

“A tender, clear-eyed sketch of the connective tissue that binds women across generations”

Doireann Ní Ghríofa ― author of A Ghost in the Throat

''In The Celestial Realm Molly Hennigan excavates family and social history in electrically eloquent prose, finding profound insight and flashes of grounding humour in even the most potentially overwhelming, dark material. A defiant, deeply powerful book”

Colin Barrett ― author of Young Skins and Homesickness

“Molly Hennigan brings original and raw perspective to subjects that have fascinated and bewildered readers for centuries - family, legacy and love”

Sara Baume ― author of Seven Steeples

“It is written with wisdom and fearlessness, it is lyrical and compassionate, and reminds me of Annie Ernaux in its clarity and intelligence. It is a sincerely important work for Ireland right now”

Niamh Campbell ― author of This Happy and We Were Young

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