Minor Monuments (2023 paperback edition)Ian Maleney
SHORTLISTED FOR THE MICHEL DÉON PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION
SHORTLISTED FOR THE BUTLER LITERARY AWARD
SHORTLISTED FOR AN IRISH BOOK AWARD
During the final two or three years of his life, I made many surreptitious recordings of John Joe as he sat by the fire. He was in the process of forgetting almost everything he’d ever known. He was fading out of the world and I wanted to record whatever it was he might say before it was too late …
Set around a small family farm on the edge of a bog, a few miles from the river Shannon, Minor Monuments is a collection of essays unfolding from the landscape of the Irish Midlands. Taking in the physical and philosophical power of sound and music, and the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on a family, Ian Maleney questions the nature of home, memory, and the complex nature of belonging.
A thought-provoking and quietly devastating meditation on family and loss. With echoes of Tim Robinson, Tara Westover and John Berger, Minor Monuments is a beautiful and unique literary experience.
‘Beautiful, touching and extraordinarily intelligent … I loved every page.’ – Sally Rooney
‘Minor Monuments is beautifully poised between the vivid recollection of experience and subtle reflections on the nature of memory itself. Ian Maleney writes with both a poetic serenity and a startling immediacy, a combination as rare as it is absorbing.’ – Fintan O’Toole
‘Many thanks for the opportunity, and the pleasure, to read Minor Monuments prior to its publication. I greatly admire this book, and haven’t read anything quite like it in a long while. In a world full of noise and frantic movement, Minor Monuments is standing still and listening, and noting, and ruminating. It’s utterly profound.’ – Danny Denton