Award-winning Irish Novelist Michelle Gallen Discusses Her Acclaimed Debut, “Big Girl, Small Town”
Date and Time:
Jan 12 2021 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
The Book Stall, 811 Elm St., Winnetka, IL 60093

Michelle Gallen and Mesha Maren

Award-winning Irish Novelist Michelle Gallen Discusses Her Acclaimed Debut, “Big Girl, Small Town”

Community Event

On Tuesday, January 12th at 5:30 PM, The Book Stall presents a free online event, as Irish novelist Michelle Gallen joins fellow author Mesha Maren for a conversation about Michelle’s acclaimed debut, Big Girl, Small Town.

An Indie Next pick for December, Big Girl, Small Town, just made the Irish Book Awards 2020 Newcomer of the Year shortlist, and also received a starred review from Booklist! They call it, “A darkly comic novel… Majella is a nuanced and complicated heroine, reliant on routines and largely dismissive of change. Infused with local diction, inflection, and slang, her voice envelops readers in the sounds of small-town Ireland. Fans of Sara Baume’s novels and the Irish TV series ‘Derry Girls’ will adore this complex, clever, and deeply moving debut novel.”

“Majella is a welcome addition to the diverse family of protagonists that includes young Christopher Boone in Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Hesketh Lock in Liz Jensen’s The Uninvited, and Keiko in Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman, all of whom perceive reality through a similar lens . . . In this oddly affecting novel of everyday defeats, [Majella’s] triumph is more thrilling than any army’s victory.” — The Wall Street Journal

About the author: Michelle Gallen was born in County Tyrone in the mid-1970s and grew up during the Troubles a few miles from the border between what she was told was the “Free” State and the “United” Kingdom. She studied English literature at Trinity College Dublin and won several prestigious prizes as a young writer. Following a devastating brain injury in her mid-twenties, she co-founded three award-winning companies and won international recognition for digital innovation. She now lives in Dublin with her husband and kids.

About Michelle’s conversation partner: Mesha Maren is the author of the novel Sugar Run. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Tin House, the Oxford American, Southern Culture, Hobart, Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2015 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, a 2014 Elizabeth George Foundation grant, an Appalachian Writing Fellowship from Lincoln Memorial University, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Ucross Foundation. She serves as a National Endowment of the Arts Writing Fellow at the Beckley Federal Correctional Institution.

For more information about this event, please contact Robert McDonald,