TV deal for Desmond Elliott Prize-winner The Glorious Heresies

Lisa McInerney Winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016This year’s Desmond Elliott Prize-winner, The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney, has been optioned for television by the boutique drama production company Fifty Fathoms.

Fifty Fathoms’ recent productions include Marvellous, Pete Bowker’s film for BBC2 starring Toby Jones and Gemma Jones; Fortitude, Simon Donald’s crime thriller for Sky Atlantic and Pivot, set in the Arctic and starring Stanley Tucci, Dennis Quaid, Michael Gambon and Sofie Grabol; and The A Word, Pete Bowker’s series for BBC1 and Sundance, directed by Peter Cattaneo and starring Chris Eccleston, Lee Ingleby and Morven Christie.

Lisa McInerney will adapt her own debut novel, the first in a trilogy, for the screen after Fifty Fathoms optioned all three books over the summer. Julian Farino (Entourage, Marvellous, 7Up) will direct and executive produce the series, and Patrick Spence will executive produce for Fifty Fathoms.  The deal was negotiated by McInerney’s agent Ivan Mulcahy at Mulcahy Associates.

Julian Farino says: “The Glorious Heresies has a terrific ensemble of original characters, all of whom have compelling journeys, making it ideal for a classy television series. Not only does Lisa write with edge and compassion, but her dialogue and sense of rhythm is hugely cinematic. Her material is made for the screen.”


Having previously been celebrated for her blog The Arse End Of Ireland, with The Glorious Heresies Lisa McInerney was heralded as ‘totally and unmistakeably the real deal’ by Kevin Barry, while the Sunday Times pronounced her ‘a glorious, foul-mouthed, fizzing new talent’. Her novel looks at the overlapping lives of a collection of misfits in modern-day Cork and it was described by Joseph O’Connor as ‘A punchy, edgy, sexy, fizzing feast of a debut novel’. The Daily Telegraph declared it ‘a spectacular debut’. The Glorious Heresies went on to be shortlisted for several awards before winning the Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction and being named Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction Book of the Year.

The Glorious Heresies has also gathered celebrity endorsements from several corners, with U2, Graham Norton and Sarah Jessica Parker among the many showing their support on social media. With total lifetime sales of over 70,000 to date, McInerney counts booksellers amongst her many new fans too.

International deals for the novel so far include Spain, France, Holland, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Italy, with more under negotiation.  And the book received an equal amount of praise on the other side of the Atlantic when it was published in the US earlier this month, with the New York Times declaring it ‘wonderfully offbeat’ and ‘impressive for its moral complexity, and for the energy and virtuosity of its language’.

When The Glorious Heresies was announced as winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize 2016, Chair of judges Iain Pears said: “Lisa is a genuinely exciting writer – there is electricity running through her prose. This is a complex, unusual, violent book, bleak but with welcome humour, and she manages a huge cast with confidence; there is never any doubt that she is in complete control, right to the unexpected but perfect ending. I know what it is to try and control a complicated text, and spent years learning my trade. She has done it on her first outing, and that is close to astounding.”

Lisa McInerney’s second novel, and second book in the trilogy, The Blood Miracles, will be published by John Murray in April 2017.