Himself

A Novel

Himself

A charming ne’er-do-well returns to his haunted Irish hometown to uncover the truth about his mother in this “supernaturally skilled debut” (Vanity Fair) and turns the town—and his life—upside down.

Having been abandoned at an orphanage as a baby, Mahony assumed all his life that his mother wanted nothing to do with him. That is, until one night in 1976 while drinking a pint at a Dublin pub, he receives an anonymous note implying that she may have been forced to give him up. Determined to find out what really happened, Mahony embarks on a pilgrimage back to his hometown, the rural village of Mulderrig. Neither he nor Mulderrig can possibly prepare for what’s in store…

From the moment he arrives, Mahony’s presence completely changes the village. Women fall all over themselves. The real and the fantastic are blurred. Chatty ghosts rise from their graves with secrets to tell, and local preacher Father Quinn will do anything to get rid of the slippery young man who is threatening the moral purity of his parish.

A spectacular new addition to the grand Irish storytelling tradition, Himself “is a darkly comic tale of murder, intrigue, haunting and illegitimacy…wickedly funny” (Daily Express).
  • Washington Square Press | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501145186 | 
  • October 2017
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Himself includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

A charming ne’er-do-well returns to his haunted Irish hometown to uncover the truth about his mother in this “exceptional debut novel” (Publishers Weekly) and turns the town—and his life—upside down.

Having been abandoned at an orphanage as a baby, Mahony assumed all his life that his mother wanted nothing to do with him. That is, until one night in a Dublin pub he receives an anonymous note implying that she may have been forced to give him up. Determined to find out what really happened, Mahony embarks on a pilgrimage back to his hometown, the rural village of Mulderrig. Neither he nor Mulderrig can possibly prepare for what’s in store . . .

A spectacular new addition to the grand Irish storytelling tradition by an author with “an imagination to die for” (The Guardian), Himself “will bring tears to your sorry eyes and joy to your hardened heart” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

Topics and Questions for Discussion

1. The town of Mulderrig is haunted by ghosts that t see more

About the Author

Jess Kidd
Photograph © Travis McBride

Jess Kidd

Jess Kidd has a PhD in Creative Writing from St. Mary’s University. She was brought up as part of a large family from Mayo and now lives in London with her daughter. She has written the acclaimed Himself and Mr. Flood's Last Resort. She is currently at work on a collection of short stories.

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