A swirling, psychedelic, bleakly funny fugue by the Booker-shortlisted author of The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto.
Una Fogarty, suffering from dementia in a seaside nursing home, would be all alone without her brother Dan, whose epic free-verse monologue tells their family story. Exile from Ireland and immigrant life in England. Their mother’s trials as a call girl. Young Una’s search for love in a seemingly haunted hippie squat, and the two-timing Scottish stoner poet she’ll never get over. Now she sits outside in the sun as her memories unspool from Dan’s mouth and his own role in the tale grows ever stranger—and more sinister.
A swirling, psychedelic, bleakly funny fugue, Patrick McCabe’s epic reinvention of the verse novel combines Modernist fragmentation and Beat spontaneity with Irish folklore, then douses it in whiskey and sets it on fire. Drinking song and punk libretto, ancient as myth and wholly original, Poguemahone is the devastating telling of one family’s history—and the forces, seen and unseen, that make their fate.