Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

Ophelia Girls : Jane Healey's visceral feminist Gothic Fiction

Featured Speakers

Jane Healey & Katalina Watt

There is something a little magic in returning to in-person bookshop gatherings with a night like this - a socially distanced garden party in the wilds behind the bookshop.

You see, for our final bookshop event of 2019 we ate cake and sipped bubbles under fairy lights, toasting the launch of the hauntingly beautiful Animals At Lockwood Manor. It's author, the spectacularly talented Jane Healey is back with The Ophelia Girls and we're determined to craft a celebration just as unique and memorable!

Set between two fateful summers, The Ophelia Girls is a visceral, heady exploration of illicit desire, infatuation and the perils and power of being a young woman.

A mother's secret past collides with her daughter's present in this intoxicating novel. In the summer of 1973, teenage Ruth and her four friends are obsessed with pre-Raphaelite paintings, and a little bit obsessed with each other. They spend the scorching summer days in the river by Ruth's grand family home, pretending to be the drowning Ophelia and recreating tableaus of other tragic mythical heroines.

But by the end of the summer, real tragedy has found them. Twenty-four years later, Ruth is a wife and mother of three children, and moves her family into her still-grand, but now somewhat dilapidated, childhood home following the death of her father.

As the heat of the summer burns, how long can the family go before long-held secrets threaten to burst their banks and drown them all?

We have a SMALL number of seats available for this outdoor gathering, but will be live streaming, as well as filming an exclusive video of the launch to share with ticket holders after the fact. Health & Safety measures will be detailed in advance of the event to reflect the situation at the end of July, including covid regulations and our own safety standards.

Our host is: Katalina Watt's writing was Longlisted for Penguin's 2020 WriteNow programme and has been published in various magazines and anthologies including Haunted Voices, Unspeakable, and Extra Teeth. She is Literature Officer at Creative Scotland and Audio Director at khōréō, a speculative fiction magazine for immigrant and diaspora authors. She previously worked in Audio and Digital for Canongate Books.

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