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Harvesting (2018 edition)

Harvesting (2018 edition)
  • Harvesting by Lisa Harding


‘Shockingly good . . .a brilliantly written novel.’ – Roddy Doyle

Beautiful and harrowing . . .an important literary read. Highly recommended.’ – Marian Keyes

‘This is an important work, a book you can’t turn away from.’ – Kit De Waal, Author of My Name is Leon

‘A highly original masterpiece.’ – Liz Nugent, Author of Skin Deep

The Irish Times Book Club Choice for November!

Winner of the Kate O’Brien Award 2018

Shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year 2018

Shortlisted for Newcomer of the Year at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards

Sometimes it feels as if three minutes has passed when it’s been three days, and three nights pass like a shiver of wind through the trees. I can’t tell shadows from bodies, voices from spirits. Luca’s face becomes an unknown man’s face, me under him, then the man’s face becomes Luca’s and I want to reach out and smash it . . .

Sammy is a spiky, quick-witted and sharp teenager living in Dublin; Nico is a warm and conscientious girl from Moldova. When they are thrown together in a Dublin brothel in a horrific twist of fate, a peculiar and important bond is formed . . .

This is a novel about a flourishing but hidden world, thinly concealed beneath a veneer of normality. It’s about the failings of polite society, the cruelty that can exist in apparently homely surroundings, the bluster of youth and the often appalling weakness of adults.

Harvesting is heartbreaking and funny, gritty, raw and breathtakingly beautiful, where redemption is found in friendship and unexpected acts of kindness.

Harvesting was inspired by Harding’s involvement with a campaign against sex trafficking run by the Children’s Rights Alliance. Although it is a fictionalised account, the text has been read and approved of by representatives for NGOs in both Moldova and Dublin.


‘In much the same way that Louise O’Neill’s book Asking For It was a damning indictment of, and a clarion call to the discussion surrounding rape culture, Harding’s book will do similarly good things for the discourse surrounding trafficking and sex work in Ireland…shocking, gut-wrenching… a new writer worth your time.’ – Sunday Business Post 

‘This is one of the most gut-wrenching, shiver-inducing pieces of fiction I have ever read.The word ‘compelling’ is too hackneyed when it comes to a novel such as this. Each line is gripping: mind and body are hooked into a world you don’t want to know exists, but which thrives under our very noses… electrifying.’ – Sunday Independent

‘Impressive and profoundly moving. It’s a harrowing read, but is never gratuitous.’ – Irish Examiner

‘Harding is to be commended for writing about such an important and under-reported topic… a character-driven and highly dramatic novel…vivid and credible’. – The Irish Times

‘This is not just a novel about sex trafficking – it is also about friendship and hope in the darkest places. A harrowing but important read – and one that will stay with you long afterwards.’ – Hotpress

‘This is an important book and should open many a debate … [Harding] writes with power and compassion, and is a force to be reckoned with.’ – Books Ireland

Praise for Harvesting

‘A novel which shines a light on some of the darkest corners of contemporary life and finds there extraordinary humanity, great hope amid the heartache. Harvesting is beautiful at the level of the sentence, profoundly moving and completely gripping. One of the best debut novels of recent years.’  – Alex Preston, author of This Bleeding City 

‘Sometimes 21st century fiction looks like the idle pursuit of the privileged, the trust-funded, the spiritually oblivious. Then there are books like Harvesting, which bristles with the anger of the wronged and the forgotten. Lisa Harding’s prose is visceral, indignant and, above all else, humane.’  – Peter Murphy, author of John the Revelator 

‘Harvesting is a powerful and utterly absorbing novel. Lisa Harding is a compelling new voice who doesn’t shirk from exploring the darker aspects of human existence. Her writing is vivid, haunting and always mindful of the humanity of her characters.’ – Danielle McLaughlin, author of Dinosaurs On Other Planets

 ‘Page by page, Harvesting, tenderly howls with beauty and courage. In society’s rotten cavities where secrets fester, Harding’s light fixes firmly upon the maggots with a guttural rage.’  – Karl Geary, author of Montpellier Parade 

Harvesting is an important debut by a multi-talented author. Important because of the impressive skill with which it is written, and important because the author has had the bravery to deal with a subject as difficult as the subject of sex trafficking…in Harding’s hands, all the characters – including characters for whom we have nothing but contempt – are multi-dimensional and human. By the time we finished reading this book, the girls especially felt as if they could be members of our own families. We fully understood the complicated process that had resulted in them living the lives they were forced to live, and, without being lectured at all, knew that action had to be taken.’  – Jane Urquhart, author of The Stone Carvers 

 ‘A brilliantly written, heartfelt, heart-breaking tale of two young girls, its lucid breadth and depths read like an indictment of our patriarchal globe.’  – Anthony Glavin, author of Colours Other than Blue 

‘A terrific piece of work … engaging and darkly compelling.’ – Catherine Dunne

About the Author

Lisa Harding is an actress, playwright and author. She played Connie in RTÉ’s Fair City and has performed at the Abbey, the Gate, the Lyric, and the Manchester Library, among others. She received an MPhil in creative writing from Trinity College Dublin in 2014. Her short stories have been published in the Dublin Review, the Bath Short Story Anthology and HeadStuff. Her plays include StarvingAnd All Because, and PlaygroundHarvesting is her first novel.



Lisa Harding


B-Format, PB





Release Date

September 2018

Additional Information

Weight .400 g
Dimensions .198 × .129 × .20 mm


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