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Biblioasis Fall 2021

As You Were
By (author): Elaine Feeney
Elaine Feeney





Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Oct 05, 2021
$22.95 CAD


8.25in x 5.25 x 0.96 gr | 460 gr
FICTION / Literary
Fiction: general and literary|Humorous fiction
An Post Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year 2020, Short-listed Rathbones Folio Prize 2021, Short-listed Kate O'Brien Award 2021, Winner Dalkey Emerging Writer Award 2021, Winner

Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize • Winner of the 2021 Kate O'Brien Award • A Guardian Best Debut of 2020  •An Irish Times Best Book of 2020 • Shortlisted for the 2020 Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year

In a run-down hospital ward, Sinead tries to keep her life together—and her terminal diagnosis secret—as her body falls apart.

Sinead Hynes is a tough, driven, funny young property developer with a terrifying secret. No-one knows it: not her fellow patients in a failing hospital, and certainly not her family. She has confided only in Google and a shiny magpie. But she can't go on like this, tirelessly trying to outstrip her past and in mortal fear of her future. Across the ward, Margaret Rose is running her chaotic family from her rose-gold Nokia. In the neighbouring bed, Jane, rarely but piercingly lucid, is searching for a decent bra and for someone to listen. And Sinead needs them both.

As You Were is about intimate histories, institutional failures, the kindness of strangers, and the darkly present past of modern Ireland; about women's stories and women's struggles; about seizing the moment to be free. Wildly funny, desperately tragic, inventive and irrepressible, As You Were introduces a brilliant voice in Irish fiction with a book that is absolutely of our times.

  • 2020 Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year shortlist, Observer 10 Best Debuts of 2020, 2021 Rathbones Folio Prize longlist, and appeared widely in best books of 2020 lists: The Telegraph, Irish Independent, Evening Standard, Guardian, Observer, and Irish Times.
  • Contemporary themes: in the hyperreal mode of Ducks, Newburyport, As You Were chronicles the interior life of a middle-aged woman as she tries to navigate the frenetic pace of 21st century communication and relationships—not least of all her relationship with herself. Fiercely, funnily feminist, other editorial comps include Anna Burns’ Milkman, Anakana Schofield’s Bina, and Eimear McBride’s A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing.
  • North American launch to feature Booker winner Douglas Stewart, who chose it as his book of the year for 2020.
  • An accomplished poet, Feeney has toured her poetry collections in North America and fans will be anticipating the publication of her debut novel.

Elaine Feeney is an award-winning writer from Galway and teaches at The National University of Ireland, Galway. She has published three collections of poetry, including The Radio was Gospel and Rise and the award-winning drama, WRoNGHEADED with The Liz Roche Company. As You Were, her debut novel, was published in 2020 by Vintage in the UK and in 2021 by Biblioasis in North America. It was shortlisted for Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards and was included in The Guardian’s top debut novels for 2020. It appeared widely in best books of 2020 including in The Telegraph, The Irish Independent, The Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Observer and The Irish Times.

  • Print run: 10,000 copies
  • Co-op available
  • Advance reader copies
  • Winter Institute galley room
  • Indie Next campaign
  • Edelweiss digital review copies
  • National TV & radio campaign
  • National print media campaign
  • Online and social media campaign
  • E-book available at same time as print edition
  • Virtual launch and festival appearances
  • Excerpts and interviewsLitHub, Electric Lit

For more information contact
[email protected]

Praise for As You Were

“A mighty, turbulent firestorm of a book, with a pulsing, rhythmic narrative voice. A compelling cast of characters with pitch perfect dialogue, it is tender, nuanced, forensically controlled and thrillingly unrestrained.”—Jury Statement from the 2021 Dalkey Emerging Writer Award

"Feeney’s brilliant debut follows an Irish woman’s struggle to accept a terminal cancer diagnosis ... Feeney skillfully tells the stories of other patients, including Margaret Rose, recovering from a stroke, and Jane, suffering from dementia. In the closed space of the ward, these three women share their secrets ... Never sentimental, and full of well-crafted dialogue and rich descriptions, the story is driven forward by Sinéad’s strong narration. This powerful work perfectly balances tragedy and hope."Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“In a novel that paints a picture of modern Ireland that isn’t by Sally Rooney, women in an oncology ward come to terms with secrets, illnesses, and how to deal with their families through text and emoji-speak and existential humor. Perfect for Sad Girl Fall.”—Nylon

"Funny, visceral, so well observed … I was blown away."—Douglas Stuart, Booker Prize-winning author of Shuggie Bain

"As You Were is an absolute tour de force: raw, sharp and wild. Elaine Feeney writes with such love for and understanding of her characters. It’s the literary equivalent of a stiff drink beside a warm fire: a book that will rattle you before it settles you."—Lisa McInerney

"As You Were was just (effing) amazing. Brimful of brilliant characterswhat an exciting, visceral, poetic read. I adored the lack of sentimentality. Sinéad Hynes is complex and excellently realiseda role model too, for I found her (sometime) selfishness thrillingly refreshing. As You Were gives permission to Irish women to put themselves first, and considering what we've come from, that's seismic. Elaine Feeney is such a talent. I LOVED it!"—Marian Keyes

"A truly original voice. Raw, urgent and uncompromising about the lengths we go to to conceal hurt, deception, psychic pain... A brilliant portrayal of the kindness of strangers, the kinship of women and the heartbreak of married love."—Mary Costello

"The dialogue just crackles, the characters are so alive and real, there’s tragedy here, there’s comedy, there’s everything. It’s a really really fabulous book."—Donal Ryan

"Comic, heartfelt and full of characters who walk off the page, it feels like Irish writing has been waiting a long time for a voice as unique and insistent as Elaine Feeney. A superb, unforgettable debut."—Sinéad Gleeson

"Riveting … I was exhilarated reading this."—Roddy Doyle

"An absolutely fabulous book."—Kevin Barry

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