11 Books to Read if You Loved The Banshees of Inisherin

Banshees of Inisherin_NovelSuspectsFrom his playwright days of The Beauty Queen of Leenane to cult favorite independent film In Bruges, to Oscar-winning Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, I’m a big fan of Martin McDonagh’s works. Every time I see his name on a byline or slotted as director, I make a note on my calendar of his works’ release date.

The Banshees of Inisherin is no exception: I’ve been excited since I first saw its trailer—and I have a thing about watching trailers. You’re undoubtedly a fan of the mystery (otherwise how would you find yourself here?), so you probably do the same thing I do. My brain immediately starts processing for clues. So much so that I have to turn the trailer off the moment that I decide I want to see a movie. I don’t want to know anything more than I should when I go into the theater.

There’s a few things we can expect from a McDonagh work, though: we always get snappy, wry dialogue befitting the characters themselves, but certainly stylistically his. We get the dark comedy, observational humor, like the repeated line, “It seems like we’re rowing.” There’s always a real story at the heart of his dramas, too. And even though he says he doesn’t think about setting when he’s writing, they all have some truly beautiful vistas and shots.

Again, Banshees is no exception to any of those qualities, either, and in this film, we have the rich Irish history and folklore to draw from, too. So, if you loved Banshees, or even if you just love the idea of it, here are eleven books that might also draw you in.


Mary Kay McBrayer is the author of America’s First Female Serial Killer: Jane Toppan and the Making of a Monster. You can find her short works at Oxford American, Narratively, Mental Floss, and FANGORIA, among other publications. She co-hosts Everything Trying to Kill You, the comedy podcast that analyzes your favorite horror movies from the perspectives of women of color. Follow Mary Kay McBrayer on Instagram and Twitter, or check out her author site here.