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‘The Last Hug for Awhile’ – artist Lisa nails pandemic life in her new book

Author Michael Harding set to launch Lisa Fingleton’s new book online next week – at 8pm on Wednesday, December 8

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The striking cover of Lisa Fingleton's new book 'The Last Hug for Awhile'

The striking cover of Lisa Fingleton's new book 'The Last Hug for Awhile'

Lisa Fingleton with her pal and celebrated author Michael Harding at the Borris Writing Festival during the summer. Michael will launch - or 'birth' - Lisa's new work on Wednesday night, December 8 next, at 8pm in a free, online event.

Lisa Fingleton with her pal and celebrated author Michael Harding at the Borris Writing Festival during the summer. Michael will launch - or 'birth' - Lisa's new work on Wednesday night, December 8 next, at 8pm in a free, online event.

And what would you say to a nice cup of tea? Lisa's Mrs Doyle sketch marking a Covid-related moment that features in the new book.

And what would you say to a nice cup of tea? Lisa's Mrs Doyle sketch marking a Covid-related moment that features in the new book.

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The striking cover of Lisa Fingleton's new book 'The Last Hug for Awhile'

kerryman

EVEN in the depths of a global pandemic beset by climate anxiety there is always ‘an invitation to love and smile’.

So sayeth Ballybunion-based artist Lisa Fingleton as she releases a new book that fairly nails the often heart-breaking experience of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

‘The Last Hug for Awhile’ combines this former Kerry County Council Artist-in-Residence’s flair for art and verse into a striking meditation on so many aspects of the pandemic.

Not least its impact on family life, as the cover phrase and art captures so pithily. It is literally exactly what Lisa’s father said to her as they embraced on the eve of the first lockdown; each knowing their lives were on the point of an irrevocable change.

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And now, Lisa’s good friend and much-loved Irish author Michael Harding is set to launch the new work in a free, online event that takes place on Wednesday, December 8, next at 8pm.

“The Last Hug For While charts the last year and a half through a series of rhyming sentences and drawings that popped into my head following interactions, conversations and random thoughts. I think the lockdowns made every interaction seem more precious and poetic,” Lisa explained.

At the very start of the first lockdown Lisa’s parents were leaving after a weekend in Kerry. As she hugged her dad goodbye he said ‘this could be the last hug for a while’. Lisa says she sobbed when they left, not knowing when she would see them again.

“So many people all over the world endured such terrible losses over the last while with huge consequences for physical and mental health,” Lisa said.

"The simple rhyming structure in the book provided a framework for my emotions and helped me process the challenges of the last year and a half. Sadness about the distance from loved ones and concern for their safety; anxiety about climate change and biodiversity loss; distress that the poorest people on the planet continue to suffer most.

“But there is always the invitation to love and smile, despite all else."

Among the slices of pandemic life also included in The Last Hug are Lisa's memory of her nephew asking her mother to make his favourite drizzle cake for delivery to the windowsill of the cocooned family home. There was also what Lisa refers to as the ‘Mrs Doyle’ moment where she contracted Covid herself because of her insistence on making tea!

Lisa is delighted that Michael Harding is officially launching the book. At the Borris Festival of Writing and Ideas earlier this year he talked about this wounded planet needing “a transformation of the heart and how love is another kind of knowing”.

As Lisa says in the opening poem ‘Hold me tight. Things will be alright but this could be the last hug for a while”.

For more information: https://lisafingleton.com/project/the-last-hug-for-a-while/

To Register for this free event: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIpcOqppjoiH9DrtN6PeBMTA97FQQahkAsA


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