Scribe Publications

Things You Get for Free

Michael McGirr

Format: PB
Extent: 288pp
Size: 198mm x 128mm
ISBN (13): 9781922070180
RRP: £8.99
Pub Date: January 2014
Rights held: UK & Commonwealth
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Also available as an e-book

At the age of 34, Michael McGirr decides to take his charming and inimitable mum on the honeymoon she and her late husband never got around to having. Between recounting their hilarious travels around Europe and meditating on the historical figures who dot their voyage — everyone from Hemingway to Michelangelo to the quietly heroic people who inspire McGirr’s special brand of faith — he plunges deep into his family history, unearthing sickness and depression but also moments of great love and perseverance.

Things You Get for Free is a deeply moving spiritual and intellectual journey that sparkles with McGirr’s singular wit and proves the truth behind his mother’s favourite saying: ‘I know more than you think I know.’


‘McGirr offers some of the sharpest observations on European foibles since Mark Twain swept through the continent … Readers will come for the humour, but they’ll stay for McGirr’s haunting memories of his path into the priesthood, his mother’s sacrifices and his father’s death.’
Publisher’s Weekly

‘A fresh and funny memoir — thoughtful, searching, with reckless flashes of tenderness.’


Michael McGirr

Michael McGirr, born in 1961, is an essayist, reviewer, prize-winning short-story writer and teacher. A former Jesuit priest, he has been the publisher of _Eureka Street_ and editor of Australian Catholics; and is the author of Unhinged Saints, Tim Winton: the writer and his work, Bypass: the story of a road, and The Lost Art of Sleep. He lives in Melbourne with his wife, Jenny, and their three children.