I joined the literary department in October 2019 having previously worked at Curtis Brown in the talent and comedy department and within talent management for over 8 years. I now assist Cathryn Summerhayes with her brilliant and eclectic list.
I am always looking for a book to escape into and I read broadly across fiction and narrative non-fiction. I am usually first pulled in by a unique concept or setting, (I particularly like wild, expansive, coastal landscapes like the one in Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper) but what keeps me reading are beautifully drawn, complex characters, relationships, and family dynamics (see also, Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper). I especially enjoy post-apocalyptic novels that explore how extreme situations can expose our human nature; two favourites are Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel and Megan Hunter’s The End We Start From.
I have a deep love for Irish fiction both in terms of Irish writers, particularly the inimitable Colm Tóibín and the powerhouse that is Lisa McInerney, and novels set in Ireland. Recent favourites have been Jessica Andrews’ debut Saltwater and Lucy Caldwell’s short story collection, Multitudes, which completely blew me away.
I enjoy crime fiction and true crime writing that subverts the genre and focuses on the victim or the fallout for their family, for instance Nothing Can Harm You, My Sister The Serial Killer, We Begin At The End and the beautiful and incomparable I’ll Be Gone In The Dark by Michelle McNamara.
In terms of non-fiction I particularly love nature writing with a quest or journey at its heart, such as The Salt Path, or books like the incredible Dark, Salt, Clear by Lamorna Ash, which investigates the positive effect nature has on our wellbeing, whilst celebrating our place and that of our communities within it. My non-fiction reading varies broadly from comedians (who make excellent writers) to experts and journalists, but what I am always looking for is an authentic voice that will teach me something fascinating or share a very personal journey with me.
A complete curveball to all the above is that my absolute favourite books of all time (still to be concluded!) are The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss, the audiobooks of which I listen to on a continuous cycle – a great example of how a perfect narrator can elevate an already exceptional book.