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Dazzling and daringly original, this debut novel tells the story of an unforgettable young woman’s coming of age across Dublin, London, and New York

Orchid & the Wasp brings to life the spiky and passionate voice of Gael Foess as she struggles to become her own person in the face of her dysfunctional family. Her parents are both more focused on their work than their children, and her younger brother, Guthrie, vulnerable and unwell, has no one else to protect him. After her financier father leaves the family, canny, iron-willed Gael travels to London and New York in search of a golden ticket with which to secure her family’s future. As her travels take her far from home, she loses touch with Guthrie and begins to fear that her efforts may not be enough to save him.
Written in heart-stoppingly vivid prose, Orchid & the Wasp examines how we inevitably fail our families despite our best intentions; what we are owed and what we must earn; and how our lives can turn us into people we would never have imagined. A first novel of astonishing talent, Orchid & the Wasp announces Caoilinn Hughes as one of the most exciting literary writers working today.


“Call it a hunch…”: An Evening of Poetry and Prose with Caoilinn Hughes

Ireland Fund Monaco Writer-in-Residence at the Princess Grace Irish Library – March 2018

Caoilinn Hughes will read from her forthcoming novel, Orchid & the Wasp, followed by a short poetry reading. She will speak briefly about the early stage of the creative process: how a writer intuits if a notion or story or character is worth pursuing, and how the writer knows what genre or form that exploration might take.