The Joyce Girl

The Joyce Girl tells the fictionalised story of Lucia Joyce’s affair with a young Samuel Beckett and then a young Alexander Calder. The only daughter of Irish author, James Joyce, and Nora Barnacle, Lucia aspired to be a modern dancer. Talented and ambitious, she trained with many of the most famous dancers of her time. The novel switches between past and present as Lucia retells her story to pioneering psychoanalyst, Doctor Carl Jung, who she was sent to by her father to take the ‘talking cure.’

A story of thwarted ambition and the destructive love of a father, The Joyce Girl is a true story, but imagined where facts were unavailable.

Described by author, Emma Darwin, as “a gripping and little-known story at the heart of one of the twentieth century’s most astonishing creative moments…researched deeply and brought to richly-imagined life.”

Profits from first year UK royalties go to YoungMinds in memory of Lucia Joyce, who spent most of her life in an asylum.

The Joyce Girl was published by Impress in the UK (June 2016), after winning the 2015 Impress Prize for New Writing.  It went to auction in Australia/New Zealand where it was published by Hachette in September 2016. It will be published by Aufbau Verlag in Germany, Galaxia Gutenberg in Spain and South America, Hep Kitap in Turkey, and Centrepolygraph in Russia, in 2017. It was a Reader’s Pick 2016 in The Guardian and has been longlisted for the 2017 Waverton Good Read Award. It was chosen from 130 books, as one of 11 to feature at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival.

I’ll be talking about Lucia at Shakespeare & Co (Paris) in February 2017, at the Essex Literary Festival in March 2017 (Southend, UK), at the Istanbul Literary Festival (Turkey) and at the Sydney Writers’ Festival (Australia) in May 2017.

You can hear me discussing James Joyce at—james-joyce/7798244

You can hear me discussing Lucia Joyce on ABC Radio Books & Arts at

Or here (ignore the opening minute when they lost me!)

You can hear a podcast of me talking about the difficulties of writing about Lucia Joyce, at Shakespeare & Co (Paris), here

You can read about some of the books that built me here

And check out my different covers, so far:




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