By: Órfhlaith Foyle

Publication Date: March 2005


Narrator Noah Gilmore is researching the biography of William Belios, an ex-missionary and once famous photographer, and spends a week in his household at Oughterard, Co. Galway. Belios is Gilmore’s nemesis, his quarry, mirroring his own desires and uncertainties, as he determines to unearth family secrets: the dead wife buried in Africa and the blighted lives of three grown-up children. The eldest Medbh, an erotic illustrator, guides Gilmore down the labyrinth. Their futures demand an erasure of a troubled past as its layers are unpeeled and its perverse roots become exposed.

This haunting tale concerns the unravelling of private lives; it offers a world in which the undertow of the imagination makes the reader complicit in its workings. Belios is a startlingly mature and exciting début.

“Belios is a dark, rough, funny novel about a dying genius and his crazed biographer. It rages with a wild vitality oddly touched by tenderness. Órfhlaith Foyle has fire in her belly.”—Patrick McGrath, author of Dr. Haggard’s Disease

‘This is edgy compulsive reading. Beautifully written, with rough themes, Foyle resists all temptation to tie things up neatly.’ Customer review


ÓRFHLAITH FOYLE was born in Nigeria to Irish missionary parents and lived in Kenya and Malawi before emigrating to Australia, where she received a Bachelor in Humanities. She travelled to Russia and Israel and taught in London’s East End for two years before returning to Ireland to work as a freelance journalist and edit a community magazine. She has been widely published in various literary journals and in a forthcoming Arlen House anthology of western women writers.

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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 215 × 136 mm
Publication Date

March 2005


Paperback, 200pp