Julian Gough   Juno and Juliet  
Julian Gough    



The underground Irish rock band Toasted Heretic wrote a song about a new boyfriend who cock-blocks his predecessor into silence with an impressive laundry list of blessings: "she likes my wit and the way that I spit, and she adores the narratorial voice of my book. Her love of my lyrics is only surpassed by her great admiration for my vocal inflections." The song? "Charm and Arrogance." The singer? Julian Gough.

These days, no one would blame the former Heretic frontman for a similar display of charming arrogance. In his mid-thirties, Gough already has parlayed his creative energies into four cult albums, a top-ten single, a hit musical, a two-book contract that took him off the dole, a novel, and a documentary. He has more than earned the right to brag about his wit, narrative voice, lyric writing skill, stylish vocals, and, probably if he so desired, his spitting ability. Yet, in the face of his multiple successes, Gough maintains a down-to-earth, funny, and intelligent demeanor that translates similarly into the heroine of his debut novel.

Juno & Juliet recounts the story of Juno and Juliet Taylor, identical twins navigating their first year at University College Galway. Narrated in Juliet's slightly acerbic yet engaging voice, the novel recreates all the colorful details of university life: inspiring and dull lectures, quirky students, joyous independence, drugs, alcohol, and sex. In this environment, Juliet escapes from the shadow of her beloved yet envied sister and comes into her glorious own. A novel of academia, Juno & Juliet quietly weaves a sharp literary focus into its comic tale, metafictively deconstructing its own form and function.

In the July issue of Bold Type, Julian Gough discusses his sparkling first novel, Juno & Juliet; as well as his tripartite career as rock star-author-filmmaker; and shares an excerpt about the best trip in Tipperary.

-- Kelley Kawano

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  Photo credit: Jerry Bauer

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