Mayflies: A Novel
An unforgettable coming-of-age novel that becomes a profound mediation on life, death, and lifelong friendship.
Everyone has a Tully Dawson: the friend who defines your life.
In the summer of 1986, in a small Scottish town, James and Tully ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films and the rebel spirit. With school over and the locked world of their fathers before them, they rush towards the climax of their youth: a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicentre of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain. There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently.
Thirty years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has news--news that forces the life-long friends to confront their own mortality head-on. What follows is an incredibly moving examination of the responsibilities and obligations we have to those we love. Mayflies is at once a finely-tuned drama about the delicacy and impermanence of human connection and an urgent inquiry into some of the most important questions of all: Who are we? What do we owe to our friends? And what does it mean to love another person amidst tragedy?
Praise for Mayflies: A Novel
"A beautiful ode to lost youth and male friendship written by one of our sharpest observers of modern masculinity." —Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bain
"Mayflies is one of those novels to press into the hands of friends. Beautifully written—wise, funny, poetic, alert to time, place and the ordinary human . . . I adored this book." —Carol Ann Duffy
"Tender, heartfelt" —The New York Times, New & Noteworthy
"Mayflies is entirely unexpected; a joyful, warm and heart-filling tribute to the million-petalled flower of male friendship. This book will last beyond these feverish times: it's not just a reminder that culture makes the worst things bearable, but a beautiful example of it in action." —The Times
"A rare thing: a life-enhancing novel about death. It will stay with you and you will want to read it again." —Scotsman
"Life-loving and elegiac." ―Observer
"A delightful nostalgia trip of enduring teenage friendship . . . an affecting and evocative picture of an era and a relationship." ―Daily Telegraph
"O'Hagan has written a tight, delicate and soulful novel . . . about the power of enduring friendship." ―Sunday Times
"An assured and self-contained piece of theatre, in which love of many kinds is tested, Mayflies is rich in allusions, gracefully written, yet vigorous. . . . This is a book of high artistic ambition, and a reminder, were it needed, of the seriousness that fiction can address . . . O'Hagan's achievement is not to flinch from reality, nor to wallow in misery, but to fill the pages with roaring life, right up to the last kick of the ball." ―The Herald
"Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone and read Andrew O'Hagan's new novel. Mayflies is a lifetime book." ―The Australian