I am just thrilled to share the latest news from Trace Literary Agency.
My long time client and friend, Irish author Louise Hall, has just signed with Mercier Press – Ireland’s oldest independent publishing house.
Just prior to Christmas, Patrick O’Donoghue gave us the good news that Mercier would like to publish Louise’s newest novel, PILGRIM. What a Christmas gift!! Publication date is set for September 2018.
PILGRIM is set in the 1980’s and centers on a 14 year old girl, Jen, whose mother has died tragically. Her father, Charlie, unable to cope, turns to alcohol as he blames himself for his wife’s death. Jen is already an outcast amongst her peers and finds it hard to make friends, except for a traveller boy names Francis Nelligan. This coupled with trying to cope with her grieving and alcoholic father means that life isn’t easy. Jen’s aunt convinces her and her father to go on a pilgrimage to a little known village hidden behind the Iron Curtain in a communist country known as Yugoslavia, in the hope that her sister’s husband and her niece might find some sort of solace in their broken lives.
PILGRIM is a story about a man who feels he has nothing more to live for, and his daughter who is determined to prove him wrong.
Louise Hall is an author from Malahide, Co. Dublin. She writes both fiction and non-fiction. Louise’s first work of non-fiction, Medjugorje: What it means to Me, was published by The Columba Press in 2012 and has been very widely received. Her second book, Medjugorje and Me, was also published by Columba in 2014. This book is a collection of testimonies and short stories from people all around the world, about their experiences of Medjugorje, and includes Louise’s own experiences from her visits. Medjugorje and Me has been translated in Italian and published by Edizioni Piemme.
Aside from publishing her first book on Medjugorje, Louise has written for The Sunday Independent, Woman’s Way, The Medjugorje Herald, The Malahide Gazette and The Irish News. She has also appeared on RTE – both on radio and television and contributes to RTE Radio 1’s “The God Slot” program doing book reviews, theatre reviews, interviews and more.
Louise has twice been longlisted for the RTE Guide/Penguin Short Story Awards in 2014 and 2015, and was shortlisted for the Colm Toibin International Short Story Competition.
In 2016, her short story, Frankie’s List, was published in the Irish Times newspaper in its “12 Stories of Christmas”. This year Louise’s short story, Turlough’s Dream, has been chosen by the Irish Times for their “12 Tales for Christmas”.
Internationally renowned Irish author, Donal Ryan, whose novel The Spinning Heart was long-listed for the Booker Prize has this to say:
“I’ve just finished the first four chapters. I’d intended reading just the first few pages and finishing the extract later but was completely sucked in. What a gamut of emotion in only 40 pages! Louise is using the polyphonic form expertly. There’s a lovely, unforced rhythm to her prose, and she’s a natural storyteller. In this cynical age it’s a joy to encounter such sincerity, and wonderfully unexpected to see contemporary fiction as a profession of fervent yet gentle faith. A particularly tender and poignant moment is when Francis asks Jen to pray for his father, considering the description of savagery that precedes this. Louise is a brave and humane writer, a breath of the freshest air”.
To learn more about Louise and her writing please visit louisehall.ie
You can find her on Twitter at @LouHallWriter
Congratulations Louise, so well deserved!