Humanist Society Scotland Book Group - Mayflies by Andrew O'Hagan

Join us for our first online Book Group meeting on Thursday 22nd April, 7.30pm-9pm GMT on Zoom. Open to all Humanist Society Scotland members. We will be discussing 'Mayflies' by Andrew O'Hagan. A bittersweet and profound meditation on life, death, and enduring friendship.

In the summer of 1986, in a small Scottish town, James and Tully ignite a brilliant friendship based on music, films and the rebel spirit. With school over and the locked world of their fathers before them, they rush towards the climax of their youth: a magical weekend in Manchester, the epicentre of everything that inspires them in working-class Britain. There, against the greatest soundtrack ever recorded, a vow is made: to go at life differently.

Thirty years on, half a life away, the phone rings. Tully has news.

Mayflies is a memorial to youth's euphorias and to everyday tragedy. A tender goodbye to an old union, it discovers the joy and the costs of love.

“An immensely engaging writer: wry and witty, and insightful” - Sunday Times

Allan Massie in the Scotsman described it as “a rare thing: a life-enhancing novel about death”.

Andrew O’Hagan was inspired by the experiences of his terminally-ill friend, and has joined the campaign to make assisted dying legal in Scotland. He is the first patron of the group Dignity in Dying Scotland and is backing the new bill expected to be introduced to Holyrood after May’s election.

Humanist Society Scotland’s Last Rights campaign is focused on giving people at the end of their life control, dignity and choice. At the heart of the campaign is our Last Rights Charter which details four key rights that the signatories to the Charter believe everyone at the end of their life should have.

The book Mayflies by Andrew O'Hagan, is available from all your usual book suppliers, but we are delighted that independent bookshop Typewronger Books is selling the hardback edition for £14.99 and offering free delivery to all UK addresses. Just be sure to mention that you are a Humanist Society Scotland member.

Another way to support independent bookshops is to use, an ethical alternative to Amazon.


April 22nd, 2021 7:30 PM through 9:00 PM