Avant-garde Paris is buzzing with the latest ideas in art, music, literature and dance. Lucia, the talented and ambitious daughter of James Joyce, is making her name as a dancer, training with some of the world’s most gifted performers. When a young Samuel Beckett comes to work for her father, she’s captivated by his quiet intensity and falls passionately in love. Persuaded she has clairvoyant powers, Lucia believes her destiny is to marry Beckett. But when her beloved brother is enticed away, the hidden threads of the Joyces’ lives begin to unravel, destroying Lucia’s dreams and foiling her attempts to escape the shadow of her genius father.
Her life in tatters, Lucia is sent by her father to pioneering psychoanalyst Carl Jung. For years she has kept quiet. But now she decides to speak.
Inspired by a true story, The Joyce Girl is a compelling and moving account of thwarted ambition and the destructive love of a father.
The Joyce Girl won the Impress Prize for New Writers in September 2015. The shortlist was judged by a panel of experts in the publishing industry. The novel was also longlisted for the Bath Novel Award and the Caledonia Novel Award.
A mesmerising and original debut, The Joyce Girl is available now from all good bookshops.
‘This is a hugely impressive debut. Annabel Abbs has brought to life an extraordinary cast of characters – Joyce, Beckett et al – and painted their rackety, bohemian world in vivid technicolour.’ – Lisa O’Kelly, Literary Editor, The Observer
‘Here is a powerful portrait of a young woman yearning to be an artist, whose passion for life – and rage at being unable to fulfil her talent – burns from the pages’. – Anita Sethi, The Observer
‘The best 20th-century fiction of the year.’ – Historical Novel Society