The Glorious Heresies

Lisa McInerney / Fiction

Book cover

UK Publisher

John Murray

US Publisher


Date Published

April 9th, 2015


Argo (Czech)
Jensen & Dalgaard (Danish)
Gallimard (French)
Liebeskind (German)
Querido (Dutch)
Rizzolli (Italian)
Czarna Owca (Polish)
Arete (Serbian)
Anaya (Spanish)
Tim Duggan Books (USA)
Hodder (Canadian)
Bata Press (Macedonian)

Dramatic Rights

ITV Studios

‘He was definitely dead, whoever he was. He wore a once-black jumper and a pair of shiny tracksuit bottoms. The back of his head was cracked and his hair matted, but it had been foxy before that. A tall man, a skinny rake, another string of piss, now departed. She hadn’t gotten a look at his face before she flaked him with the Holy Stone and she couldn’t bring herself to turn him over.’

One messy murder affects the lives of five misfits who exist on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father Tony, whose obsession with his unhinged next-door neighbour threatens to ruin him and his family. Georgie is a prostitute whose willingness to feign a religious conversion has dangerous repercussions, while Maureen, the accidental murderer, has returned to Cork after forty years in exile to discover that Jimmy, the son she was forced to give up years before, has grown into the most fearsome gangster in the city. In seeking atonement for the murder and a multitude of other perceived sins, Maureen threatens to destroy everything her son has worked so hard for, while her actions risk bringing the intertwined lives of the Irish underworld into the spotlight . . .

Biting, moving and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies explores salvation, shame and the legacy of Ireland’s twentieth-century attitudes to sex and family.


There is no question that McInerney has talent to burn... The erstwhile Sweary Lady on bellicose form: an irrepressible volley of unrehearsed words from a brand new throat.

Ireland seems to be enjoying a remarkable surge of young women writers...having recently produced impressive debut novels. Yet Lisa McInerney's may be the most eagerly awaited of all.

- The Guardian

The Glorious Heresies is a spectacular debut by Lisa McInerney. Tough and tender, gothic and lyrical, it is a head-spinning, stomach-churning state-of-the-nation novel.

- The Telegraph

The Glorious Heresies heralds the arrival of a glorious, foul-mouthed, fizzing new talent

- The Sunday Times

McInerney's riotous, sweary debut tracks the lives of five outsiders living in Ireland's post-boom badlands . . . It delves into the complicated webs of relationships that make up a family, and explores shame and the search for redemption with wholehearted exuberance

- Psychologies

Like her compatriot Kevin Barry, McInerney writes in the local vernacular, with a smattering of Gaelic. Her cynical voice is pitch-perfect for a community left behind by a Church that has done its damage and a Celtic tiger that has made a dash for the airport . . . a rich, touching, hilarious novel

- FT Weekend

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