Acts of Desperation

Acts of Desperation

Summary

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Love was the final consolation, would set ablaze the fields of my life in one go, leaving nothing behind. I thought of it as a force which would clean me and by its presence make me worthy of it. There was no religion in my life after early childhood, and a great faith in love was what I had cultivated instead. Oh, don't laugh at me for this, for being a woman who says this to you. I hear myself speak.

Even now, even after all that took place between us, I can still feel how moved I am by him. Ciaran was that downy, darkening blond of a baby just leaving its infancy. He was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. None of it mattered in the end; what he looked like, who he was, the things he would do to me. To make a beautiful man love and live with me had seemed - obviously, intuitively - the entire point of life. My need was greater than reality, stronger than the truth, more savage than either of us would eventually bear. How could it be true that a woman like me could need a man's love to feel like a person, to feel that I was worthy of life? And what would happen when I finally wore him down and took it?

© Megan Nolan 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Reviews

  • Please believe the hype . . . Nolan's book describes a very particular experience and it does so with rare intelligence and courage . . . [Her] headlong, fearless prose feels like salt wind on cracked lips. You wince and you thrill.
    Sunday Times

About the author

Megan Nolan

Megan Nolan was born in 1990 in Waterford, Ireland and is currently based in New York. Her essays and reviews have been published by the New York Times, White Review, Guardian and Frieze amongst others. For her debut novel, Acts of Desperation, Nolan was the recipient of a Betty Trask Award, shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Ordinary Human Failings has been shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, the Nero Book Award for Fiction and the Gordon Burn Prize.
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