Megan Nolan
Megan Nolan

Megan Nolan lives in London and was born in 1990 in Waterford, Ireland. Her essays, fiction and reviews have been published in The New York Times, The White Review, The Sunday Times, The Village Voice, The Guardian and in the literary anthology, Winter Papers. She writes a fortnightly column for the New Statesman.

Readings and performances commissioned across the U.K. and Ireland have included the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Goldsmiths Lit Live, Kunstraum Gallery, Cubitt Gallery, Wysing Arts Centre and the South London Gallery. Internationally, her work has also appeared at Hyper Local Festival in Buenos Aires and the Sandberg Institute’s “Wandering School” in Milan.

Her debut novel Acts of Desperation will be published in March 2021 by Jonathan Cape in the UK and Little, Brown in the USA, and is being translated into eight languages.

She is represented by Harriet Moore at David Higham and Associates. Website by Stan Cross.

In conversation event with Doireann Ní Ghríofa
Waterford Writers Weekend
In conversation with Tai Shani and new text commissioned for Shani’s 'Tragodia' exhibition launch
Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin
In conversation with Jim Nolan
Waterford Writers Weekend
Reading for the launch of The Grapevine Zine and Saltwater by Jessica Andrews
Riverside Bookshop, London
New text commissioned for publication and exhibition by Bethan Lloyd Worthington
The V&A, London
Creative non-fiction workshop
Irish Writers Centre, Dublin
Guest lecture at the Creative Writing M.A
Durham University
Reading and new text commissioned
Museum of London
Guest Lecture at the Fine Art department
University of Reading
Reading at 'Goldsmiths Lit Live'
Goldsmiths University
Reading and new text commissioned by Dorina Van Meel for her show 'Disobedient Children'
Kunstraum Gallery, London
Reading hosted by the Wandering Academy, Sandberg Institute
Macao, Milan
Reading and new text commissioned by The Conch
South London Gallery
Reading and performance
Wysing Arts Festival
Curated and read at the performance event "And No Animal Is Without Enemy"
Cubitt Gallery, London
Reading at 'Word's Work' curated by Roy Claire Potter
& Model Gallery, Leeds
Reading for Studio Visit by Morgan Quaintance
Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
"A love story like no other. The writing is intense and honest, with a rare access to real life, but it is also reflective and full of insights, and with this combination the novel manages to separate the idea of love and the experience of it, and take the reader to the place where it comes into being"
Karl Ove Knausgaard
"Megan Nolan writes with piercing vulnerability and precision. Her debut novel is a blistering anti-romance about the seductive destruction of trying to find self-worth in the gaze of another."
Catherine Lacey
"Acts of Desperation is stunning and I’m grateful it exists. Megan Nolan writes so powerfully about vulnerability. A book that you live in while you’re reading it, and which then lives on inside you."
Olivia Sudjic
"A darkly rich and heady exploration of hunger and unraveling, Acts of Desperation is unashamed and honest. It questions the truest way to inhabit a body and shows us the horror and the beauty in learning to be alone."
Jessica Andrews
"Features the same dark streak which characterises her non-fiction writing. The anti-romance story is twisted in its exploration of a love obsession which consumes and destroys."
"A raw account of a failed relationship, which grips from its atmospheric opening to its cathartic end."
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's debut novel Acts of Desperation will be published on March 4th 2021 by Jonathan Cape in the UK and Little, Brown in the US.