In The Irish Times this Saturday, Emily Ratajkowski talks to Laura Kennedy about her essay book, My Body. Titles reviewed are Oliver Farry on Keep Calm and Trust the Science by Luke O’Neill and A State of Emergency: The Story of Ireland’s Covid Crisis by Richard Chambers; Mia Levitin on Sarah Moss’ The Fell; Michael Cronin on the best new translations; Keith Duggan on The Nation Holds Its Breath from George Hamilton; Richard English on Ernie O’Malley: A Life by Cormac KH O’Malley and Harry F Martin; Margaret Kelleher on All Strangers Here: 100 Years of Personal Writing from the Irish Foreign Service, edited by Angela Byrne, Ragnar Deeney Almquist and Helena Nolan; John Boyne on The Pawnbroker’s Reward from Declan O’Rourke; Niamh Donnelly on Aisling and the City by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen; Dean Jobb on The Dublin Railway Murder: The Sensational True Story of a Victorian Murder Mystery by Thomas Morris; and Sarah Gilmartin on Today a Woman Went Mad by Hilma Wolitzer.
If you buy a copy of The Irish Times from Eason this weekend, you can also buy Snow by John Banville for € 4.99, saving € 6.
Faber will publish the authoritative biography of John McGahern by academic Frank Shovlin.
Shovlin is Professor of Irish Literature in English at the University of Liverpool and editor of The Letters of John McGahern, which Faber published in September. For more than a decade, he has researched the author’s life through his archives at the National University of Ireland, Galway, as well as in private articles and exclusive interviews with his widow, Madeline McGahern, with which he will work closely on this biography.
Faber said: “This will be the definitive biography of one of the most important writers of the 20th century. As Frank says, a portrait of McGahern’s life is inextricably a story of modern Ireland, providing a unique glimpse into a society on the verge of transformation. Yet it will also be an intimate portrait of an enigmatic artist, illuminating both the man himself and his earth-shattering novels like never before.
From the city famous for its love of the good festival, Dingle Lit is expected to sell out in their venues from November 19-21, with tickets for Michael D. Higgins, Declan O’Rourke and Diarmaid Ferriter sold at capacity.
Claire Keegan will discuss her long-awaited new novel Small Things Like These, while the new will be celebrated with Nicole Flattery and John Patrick McHugh. Skelligs goaltenders Catherine Merrigan and Robert L. Harris will discuss their very unique life experiences on Skellig Michael.
Hybrid in more ways than one, Dingle Lit offers events in Irish and English, live and online! For more details visit dinglelit.ie
Isabel Waidner won the Goldsmiths Prize of £ 10,000 for her ‘mind-blowing’ novel Sterling Karat Gold, published by Peninsula Press.
Sterling Karat Gold is their third novel and their second to be shortlisted for the award, following We Are Made of Diamond Stuff (Dostoyevsky Wannabe) in 2019.
Peninsula described the winning novel as follows: “Kafka’s lawsuit written for the era of gas lighting. A surreal investigation into the real effects of state violence on Mavericks, workers and blacks. Sterling is arrested one morning having done nothing wrong and is “plunged into a terrifying and absurd world”. Sterling, with the help of their three best friends, must challenge bullfighters, footballers and spaceships to exonerate himself and hold the powers that be to account.
The list of finalists included Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett, Assembly by Natasha Brown, A Shock by Keith Ridgway, This One Sky Day by Leone Ross and The Little Scratch by Rebecca Watson.
Presiding Judges Dr Nell Stevens said Waidner brought “wit, arrogance, playfulness and fury to an unfettered journey through an unjust justice system.”
Judge Kamila Shamsie said: “Isabel Waidner collides the real and the mythical, the beautiful and the grotesque, with stunning effect. Time travel constrained by the limits of Google Maps and the essays of Hieronymus Bosch never dazzle the human heart in this novel of friendship, art, injustice and all that can be imagined and unimaginable.
Hachette Books Ireland will publish Mia Döring’s Any Girl next February, a personal account of surviving rape at age 16, then sexual exploitation and the sex trade in Ireland as a young woman.
Editor Ciara Considine said, “I can honestly say that this book landing on my desk has had the greatest impact of any submission in my nearly 30 years of editing. I started reading it at ten past five in the evening, right after Agent Jonathan Williams sent it to me, and finished it after midnight, barely looking up from the pages. The effect was visceral – I was both shocked and amazed. Any Girl is a singular and extraordinarily courageous work that explores the nature of trauma and presents a striking image of physical, mental and emotional landscapes. Both deeply personal and artfully political, I believe this is an important memoir for our time and a uniquely female perspective on important cultural issues. “
Döring said: “It means so much to me that Hachette is publishing my first book. I struggled for a long time in writing and rewriting this one, developing my own throughout and coming to terms with what it means to bring awareness to subjects so deeply personal. While it is an act of vulnerability to expose one’s most private and painful experiences in the public realm, I hope it inspires others to carry their own stories with bravery and compassion. It is difficult to talk about sexual violence because our society is still not able to respond to it with the empathetic courage it deserves. My hope is that by being empathetic and courageous in myself, the book will do something to help this process. I can’t wait to read it and can’t thank Jonathan Williams and Hachette Books Ireland enough for believing in him and me.
The Irish Writers Center and Words of Color Productions partner to deliver UPLIFT, a new pilot international workshop and mentoring initiative for young people of color with leadership ambitions in the literature sector in Ireland and the UK .
The program aims to support two color arts practitioners based on the island of Ireland between the ages of 18 and 30. Successful applicants will benefit from mentorship and workshops from established industry professionals – award-winning writer and editor Farhana Shaikh (The Asian Writer, Dahlia Publishing) and award-winning poet and director Nick Makoha (The Obsidian Foundation). Ideal mentorship candidates are people who believe they have the potential to encourage writers and audiences of color to participate in the Irish Writers Center and contribute to the wider Irish literary scene.
The workshops will take place on Saturday March 5 and Saturday March 12, 2022, with mentoring sessions to be organized between the mentor and the mentee. Those interested in applying can find out more on the Irish Writers Center website.
The winners of the third annual Comedy Women in Print (CWIP) award were announced this week at the Groucho Club in London. The CWIP Prize for Published Comedy Novel went to Jesse Sutanto for his first adult novel, the crazy romantic murder comedy, Dial A for Aunties, the story of a matriarchal family of Chinese-Indonesian wedding planners set in California which has already been photographed by Netflix (HQ). The finalist was Dolly Alderton for Ghosts.
Joanne Harris, President of the Judges, said: “We all agreed that Dial A for Aunties should be the winner: it’s a deliciously frenetic comedy, filled with absurd situations, hilarious dialogue, wonderful family dynamics and cracklings. comic energy. The finalist, Ghosts, is a wonderfully accomplished, loving, spiritual and human story that should speak to women everywhere.
The award for unreleased comedy novel was won by Rebecca Rogers, employment agency employee and single mother. His original, overturning and hilarious novel, Purgatory Poisoning seemed to the judges inspired by a childhood diet of Blackadder and Monty Python. Rogers won a publishing deal and a £ 5,000 advance from HarperFiction.
Mary Ann Sieghart, former associate editor of The Times and author of The Authority Gap, will chair the jury for next year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. She is joined by Lorraine Candy, award-winning journalist and editor; Dorothy Koomson, internationally successful novelist, journalist and podcaster; Anita Sethi, award-winning author and literary journalist; and Pandora Sykes, journalist, broadcaster and author.
The announcement of the preselection will take place on March 8, the preselection on April 27 and the winner on June 15. The 2021 winner was Susanna Clarke’s Piranesi.
Sieghart said it was “a great honor to be chosen to chair the jury for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. There are so many fabulous contemporary writers that deserve to be read better. I hope our long list, shortlist, and final winner will inspire new readers, both men and women, to sample the extraordinary variety of fiction created by women today.