Elaine Feeney | Paperback | August 2023
Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2023
A vibrant, moving novel about a remarkable boy and his dream, from the prize-winning Irish novelist and poet
Jamie O'Neill loves the colour red. He also loves tall trees, patterns, rain that comes with wind, the curvature of many objects, books with dust jackets, cats, rivers and Edgar Allan Poe. At age 13 there are two things he especially wants in life: to build a Perpetual Motion Machine, and to connect with his mother Noelle, who died when he was born. In his mind these things are intimately linked. And at his new school, where all else is disorientating and overwhelming, he finds two people who might just be able to help him.
How to Build a Boat is the story of how one boy and his mission transforms the lives of his teachers, Tess and Tadhg, and brings together a community. Written with tenderness and verve, it's about love, family and connection, the power of imagination, and how our greatest adventures never happen alone.
Elaine Feeney is a writer from the west of Ireland. Her 2020 debut novel, As You Were, was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Irish Novel of the Year Award, and won the Kate O'Brien Award, the McKitterick Prize, and the Dalkey Festival Emerging Writer Award. Feeney has published three collections of poetry including The Radio Was Gospel and Rise, and her short story Sojourn was included in The Art of The Glimpse: 100 Irish Short Stories, edited by Sinéad Gleeson. Feeney lectures at the National University of Ireland, Galway.