As You Were
SHORTLISTED FOR THE RATHBONES FOLIO PRIZE 2021
SHORTLISTED FOR THE IRISH BOOK AWARDS NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2020
AN OBSERVER BEST DEBUT 2020
‘Riveting… I was exhilarated reading this’ Roddy Doyle
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. 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. It is about women’s stories and women’s struggles. It is 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.
‘Amazing… Brimful of brilliant characters – I LOVED IT!’ Marian Keyes
‘The diaologue just crackles, the characters are so alive and real, there’s tragedy here, there’s comedy, there’s everything’ Donal Ryan
‘An absolutely fabulous book’ Kevin Barry
‘An absolute tour de force: raw, sharp and wild’ Lisa McInerney
‘A superb, unforgettable debut’ Sinead Gleeson
‘Funny and charming as well as dark and strong’ Sarah Moss
‘Funny, visceral, so well observed… I was blown away’ Douglas Stuart
**AN EVENING STANDARD, OBSERVER AND DAILY TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020**
A revelation with regard to the secret shames and everyday pain that women keep hidden. IT is bursting with wonderful moments of unguarded intimacy between three Irish women who are stuck on a hospital ward together -- Douglas Stuart * Observer, *Books of the Year* * Feeney has published three collections of poetry and there's something lyrical in As You Were's pin-sharp descriptions... sensory descriptions are skilfully linked to Sinead's interior life... [and] Feeney has a remarkable ability to move between registers... As You Were takes the reins, exercising an elastic grip, shortening and lengthening, tautening and loosening and, finally, letting go -- Naoise Dolan * London Review of Books * As You Were is a revelation in the secret shames and everyday pain that women keep hidden. It is bursting with wonderful moments of unguarded intimacy... It manages to be funny, sad and absolutely irrepressible all at the same time -- Douglas Stuart * Herald, *Books of the Year* * [As You Were] is bursting with tenderness... It's a book that will stay with me for a long time -- Douglas Stuart * Evening Standard, *Books of the Year* * Exhilarating... While As You Were may seem at first glance to be a novel about facing death, it is gloriously full of life * Irish Independent * A powerful novel... Fierce and insistent, its stories continue to burn brightly long after reading * Irish Times * Inventive, entertaining and utterly original * i Newspaper * Extraordinary... This is writing that often reaches into your heart and clutches it * Evening Standard * Feeney's voice is at once fresh and sharp, with an eye for the comedy of existential dread -- Stephanie Merritt * Observer * [A] blistering flow of wild, full-on language and gritty life-story telling -- Kerry Fowler * Sainsbury's Magazine * I was totally gripped: the writing thrums with originality. Fierce, astonishing, perceptive - I loved As You Were!' * Danielle McLaughlin * A beautifully manic soliloquy to life's tickly pleasures and wacky distresses. What an absolute kick box of a novel. Just wow. * June Caldwell * Rendered with searing honesty, biting humour, and most importantly of all perhaps, layers of compassion that creep up on you like a fragile child, Elaine Feeney's As You Were is a comet's tail of loss, regret, hurt, damage, sass, wit, and courage; an artfully braided paean to resilience, to not giving up, to the small ways we find to bandage our broken selves. We should be grateful for this wonderful debut. * Alan McMonagle * Beautiful, torrential, vital, Elaine Feeney's debut novel aches with all the comedy and sorrow of how it feels to be alive now. * Conor O'Callaghan * Elaine Feeney's voice is utterly singular, thrilling, unpredictable, a continuous pleasure. It seems trite in the face of such a captivating and original novel to say that we're lucky to have her - but we are. * Nicole Flattery * Outraged, compassionate, and very very funny, Elaine Feeney is a ferociously good writer. * Claire Louise Bennett * As You Were is a powerful openhearted novel with an authentic visceral voice. It is a thrilling, hugely enjoyable read and a quite brilliant fiction debut from this superbly gifted poet. * Mike McCormack * 'An absolutely fabulous book' * Kevin Barry * 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 * As You Were was just (effing) amazing. Brimful of brilliant characters - what an exciting, visceral, poetic read. I adored the lack of sentimentality. Sinead Hynes is complex and excellently realised - a 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 * 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 * 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. * Sinead Gleeson *
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