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The Coward: Jarred McGinnis explores his debut with A L Kennedy


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Jarred McGinnis & A L Kennedy


We're thrilled to host a virtual celebration of Jarred McGinnis' The Coward, a startling and intimate debut novel which explores masculinity, family, disability and love as an estranged father and son struggle to reconcile.

The inimitable A.L.Kennedy described the book as “Laceratingly funny, beautiful and true, true, true – right into its very human and very twisted heart. Read this book”

Naturally we thought Kennedy would be an ideal host to unpack this brilliant, biting book with the author - and so she will! So join us for a brilliant evening where rising star and literary sensation explore a novel that's already making waves.

After a car accident Jarred discovers he’ll never walk again. Confined to a ‘giant roller-skate’, he finds himself with neither money nor job. Worse still, he’s forced to live back home with the father he hasn’t spoken to in ten years. Add in a shoplifting habit, an addiction to painkillers and the fact that total strangers now treat him like he’s an idiot, it’s a recipe for self-destruction. How can he stop himself careering out of control? As he tries to piece his life together again, he looks back over his past – the tragedy that blasted his family apart, why he ran away, the damage he’s caused himself and others – and starts to wonder whether, maybe, things don’t always have to stay broken after all. The Coward is about hurt and forgiveness. It’s about how the world treats disabled people. And it’s about how we write and rewrite the stories we tell ourselves about our lives – and try to find a happy ending.

“Both absolutely devastating and ridiculously funny, sometimes within the span of a single paragraph. You’ll want to murder McGinnis’ mouthy anti-hero and also take him out for several pints. A big-hearted, quick-witted sucker punch of a first novel; readers who like their brutal honesty with a side of hope are really going to love The Coward” JAN CARSON

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