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Himself
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About the Author

Jess Kidd is an award-winning author with a PhD in creative writing from St. Mary's University in London. She grew up as part of a large family from Ireland's County Mayo and now lives in London with her daughter. Her first book, Himself, was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards. Learn more at JessKidd.com.

Reviews

"For the love of all that's right and true in the world, you've got to read Jess Kidd's debut Himself (Atria), a fabulously imaginative, darkly comic Irish tale set 'in the arse-end of beyond' in a village called Mulderigg. Reading this picaresque novel is like nursing a pint in a pub while a seanchai, a traditional storyteller, trills the air with magic and mystery and a local modulates the narrative with irreverent commentary from a stool in the corner...In Mahony, the author has created a literary descendant of Henry Fielding's "Tom Jones" (also a foundling with parental issues), and in Mulderigg she's imagined a literary neighborhood akin to Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Macondo, a place populated with eccentric characters, living and dead. The plot races to an ending of Biblical proportions (as most Irish tales do) and it'll bring tears to your sorry eyes and joy to your hardened heart."--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Himself is Jess Kidd's confident, engaging debut novel. It has a captivating ensemble cast, great jolts of humor and danger, hair-raising plot twists and just enough darkness to make the magic feel true. A thoroughly enjoyable read."--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Himself is a classic, feeding the reader through a multisensory smorgasbord of Irish euphemisms...The snappy dialogue in Himself is delightful and a strong asset to Kidd's flawless storytelling. The story breathes metaphors into sweet descriptive prose, pulling at heartstrings and bursting with humor...Foul play, fantasy, and a glimmer of romance wrapped up in a suspense-filled ending, makes Himself a delicious, gratifying and ageless story."--New York Journal of Books
"Over in Dublin, Jess Kidd's Himself is her supernaturally skillful debut. Irish eyes are glowing."--Vanity Fair
"[A] whimsical mystery... That's the pleasure of Himself -- the way the novel's plot, with its delicate language and soft Irish lilt, wanders like lush green vines, never seeming to travel in straight lines. A villageful of characters emerge, all of them having a deft way with a line... The mystery here is how the living and the dead live side by side, and the joy is the music with which Kidd brings all of the characters to life."--The Seattle Times
"Mysterious and lyrical... Moving between Mahony's present and the village's past, Himself is spun like a fairy tale and paced like a mystery told around a slowly fading campfire. Kidd is brilliant at setting the scene and painting it vividly with a twisted, comic voice... In Himself, the author revels in the magical and supernatural, deftly and often humorously melding superstition and folklore with real personal tragedy."--BookPage
"Every page of Kidd's who-done-it novel is filled with magic, spirit, peppery characters, and ghosts of the village dead, including their pets, who are visible only to some...Kidd mixes the darkest capacities of these villagers with carefully observed whimsy and fantasy. Readers who enjoy a dollop of whiskey in their tea will feel right at home in Mulderrig."

--Booklist

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