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Happy Publication Day to The Half-life of Snails!

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Debut novel, Philippa Holloway, The Half-life of Snails -

Happy Publication Day to The Half-life of Snails!

Two sisters, two nuclear power stations, one child caught in the middle...

Team Parthian are thrilled to announce the official release of this tremendous debut novel by award-winning writer Philippa Holloway!


Described by Alex Lockwood (author of The Chernobyl Privileges) as "a novel that shimmers with compassion, one that crosses borders of both nations and emotions", and by Jenn Ashworth (author of Ghosted) as "a careful, tender and arresting story that explores how we're formed by the places we think we own", The Half-life of Snails is an engrossing story about family, belonging, the legacy of Chernobyl, and how our pasts never quite leave us. It won a second place prize in the Writers & Artists Working Class Writers Prize 2020.
Philippa has a number of events lined up over the next few weeks, including a launch at the Performance Centre, Staffordshire University this Thursday 5th May, an event at Edge Hill University next Wednesday 11th May, and another at the WoW Festival in Liverpool on 26th May. Do check our events page for more info! There will also be a blog tour next month. More details on that soon.


She's been busy creating this fascinating podcast with Alternative Stories, which was recorded at Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker in Cheshire. It's a compelling interview!


If you didn't catch the feature on Nation.Cymru last week, here is a snippet:

"Holloway noted that her time spent with the Samosely – people that were evacuated from their homes during the Chernobyl disaster but then returned illegally to what is now named the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone – helped her come to terms with ‘that deep connection between people and place’. The fact that the Samosely refused to abandon their homes, despite the threat that the landscape still possesses, suggests that the connection between the self and place is stronger than fear – perhaps even stronger than the ultimate fear for some, of death itself."

The Half-life of Snails is available to buy now, from the Parthian website or your favourite bookshop!


This novel is partly set in Ukraine circa 2014. The writer travelled to Ukraine and was made very welcome by lots of people in the course of her research work. We are supporting the Red Cross Appeal for Ukraine by donating all our profits from the sale of the book in the UK to the Ukraine appeal. Our intention is that whatever we raise will reflect in some small way the support the author had from people in Ukraine to enable her to tell her story.