My Favourite Debut: Lisa McInerney

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be asking Desmond Elliott Prize alumni to tell us about their favourite debut novel of all time. This week, 2016 winner Lisa McInerney shares her love of David Keenan’s This Is Memorial Device.

“This is such a tough question to answer, because there are so many novelists who seem to just fly out of the traps. I could choose a classic like Last Exit to BrooklynWuthering Heights, or Wise Blood, or one of the exceptional debuts of the last few years: One Star Awake, Strange Heart Beating, Spaceman of Bohemia, Montpelier Parade . . . But I’m going to go with This Is Memorial Device by David Keenan.

This is a novel in twenty-six interviews: accounts of those yanked into orbit around gentle, enigmatic Lucas Black and his post-punk outfit Memorial Device, the greatest band that never existed. It is a testament to Keenan’s extraordinary talents that each of these voices is compelling and affecting and distinct. This Is Memorial Device is seductive, unsettling, exhilarating and heart-wrenching, and oh how I’d love to read it for the first time, one last time.”