Lisa McInerney: Glorious Heresies


The latest addition to my website is Lisa McInerney‘s Glorious Heresies. The novel is about what McInerney calls the arse end of Ireland. It is set in a grim part of Cork. All the main characters, without exception, are variously drunks, drug addicts, drug dealers, abusers, rapists, prostitutes, murderers (at least three of the main characters commit a murder in this book), arsonists (one actual and two potential in this book), petty criminals and the like. While some may have the occasional redeeming characteristic and many are clearly victims of Ireland’s economic crisis and their own grim circumstances, none of them can be said to be likeable which, of course, is McInerney’s point. The story revolves around an accidental murder – a woman kills an intruder – and how this murder involves, directly or indirectly, all of the main characters. The woman is the mother of a gangster who enlists a petty criminal, widower, father of six and drunk, to help him dispose of the body but others learn of the story and the gangster feels that this is a problem he has to deal with and he does or at least tries to. It is not a pretty story nor, for that matter, enjoyable but clearly McInerney feels this is what her country has come to. The novel has just won the the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction . Frankly, I would have given the prize to the favourite, Anne Enright‘s The Green Road, a much better novel in my opinion.

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