Orchid & the Wasp
‘A gem of a novel’ Elle
‘A winning debut’ The New Yorker
‘Caoilinn Hughes is a massive talent.’ Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prizewinning author of All the Light We Cannot See
WINNER OF THE COLLYER BRISTOW PRIZE * SHORTLISTED FOR THE BUTLER LITERARY AWARD * SHORTLISTED FOR THE HEARST BIG BOOK AWARDS 2019 * LONGLISTED FOR THE AUTHORS' CLUB BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD * LONGLISTED FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD 2020
Orchids are liars.
They use pheromones to lure wasps in to become unwitting pollinators. In nature, such exploitative systems are rare. In society, they are everywhere.
Gael Foess is a heroine of mythic proportions. Raised in Dublin by single-minded, careerist parents, she learns from an early age how ideals and ambitions can be compromised. When her father walks out during the 2008 crash, her family falls apart. Determined to build a life-raft for her loved ones, Gael sets off for London and New York, proving how little it takes to game the system - but is it really exploitation if the loser isn't aware of what he's losing?
Written in electric, heart-stopping prose, Orchid & the Wasp is a dazzlingly original novel about gigantic ambitions and social upheaval, chewing through sexuality, class and politics with joyful, anarchic fury, announcing Caoilinn Hughes as a rising star of literary fiction.
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