The Consulate General of Ireland in Frankfurt and Literature Ireland invites you to an exclusive reading and Q&A with the distinguished Irish author Michelle Gallen, whose published works include Big Girl, Small Town (2020) and Factory Girls (2022), at the English Theatre Frankfurt.

Gallen’s writing is rooted in her lived experience and reflects her early years growing up in a rural area along the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland – a border that continues to influence her life, family and wider community to this day.

We look forward to welcoming you for this special occasion, which will give the public an opportunity to actively engage with the author during a Q&A session. The event is free of charge, but we kindly ask you to RSVP here, to secure your seat.

Please keep an eye on our social media channels over the coming weeks for further details.

Thursday, 19th October 2023 at 5.00 pm at James the Bar (after that Q&A and book signing)
Moderator: Executive Director of Literature Ireland, Sinéad Mac Aodha.

The event is free of charge, but we kindly ask you to RSVP to secure your seat. To register, please call the ETF Box Office at (069) 242 316 20.

Michelle Gallen grew up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles a few miles from the border. She studied English Literature at Trinity College Dublin and Publishing at Stirling University. Her debut novel, Big Girl, Small Town was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. Her critically acclaimed second novel, Factory Girls, won the Comedy Women in Print award and was shortlisted for the RSL Encore Award. Both books are being adapted for TV.

About Factory Girls

Smart-mouthed and filthy-minded, Maeve Murray has always felt like an outsider in the shitty wee town that she calls home. She hopes her exam results will be her ticket to a new life in London; a life where no one knows her business, or cares about her dead sister.

But first she’s got to survive a tit-for-tat paramilitary campaign as brutal as her relationship with her mam, iron 800 shirts a day to keep her summer job in the local factory, and dodge the attentions of Handy Andy Strawbridge, her dubious English boss.

Maeve and her two best friends try to squeeze as much fun as possible into their last summer at home. But as marching season raises tensions among the Catholic and Protestant workforce, Maeve realises something is going on behind the scenes at the factory, forcing her to make a choice that will impact her life – and the lives of others – for ever…

About Big Girl Small Town 
Majella is happiest out of the spotlight, away from her neighbors’ stares and the gossips of the small town in Northern Ireland where she grew up just after the Troubles. She lives a quiet life caring for her alcoholic mother, working in the local chip shop, watching the regular customers come and go. She wears the same clothes each day (overalls, too small), has the same dinner each night (fish and chips, microwaved at home after her shift ends), and binge-watches old DVDs of the same show (Dallas, best show on TV) from the comfort of her bed. 

But underneath Majella’s seemingly ordinary life are the facts that she doesn’t know where her father is and that every person in her town has been changed by the lingering divide between Protestants and Catholics. When Majella’s predictable existence is upended by the death of her granny, she comes to realize there may be more to life than the gossips of Aghybogey, the pub, and the chip shop. In fact, there just may be a whole big world outside her small town.