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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 29, 2009 @ 12:52 pm

    Dublin Writers Festival programme

    Fiona McCann

    The DWF (what? I’m not writing the whole thing out again) line up has been announced, with Seamus Heaney (surprise!) headlining. Others on the list are Zoë Heller (I interviewed her last year on the publication of her latest book, The Believers and can bet she’ll be entertaining, whatever your feelings about her work) , Geoff Dyer (everyone’s talking about him of late. John Self has a great interview here and you can read James Wood’s review of Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi here), and Steve Toltz, whose Booker shortlisted book A Fraction of the Whole was described by our own Claire Kilroy as “The funniest novel of 2008″. More information on the rest here - so who’s going to what, and why?

    • Stan says:

      Zoë Heller’s ‘Notes on a Scandal’ was pretty good.

    • Sarah says:

      Oh…I loved Fraction of the Whole…totally funny and fresh and original. ALMOST as good as The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Looks like a good line-up. As good as Cúirt, though? Or is just hard to compare???

    • Fiona says:

      Stan: A lot of Notes on a Scandal fan were less impressed by The Believers. I enjoyed the latter, but wasn’t blown away by it . . . have you read it?

      Sarah: Gah! The to-read list just keeps getting longer. I’ve almost finished Molly Fox’s Birthday, but have Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn lined up to read next. Phew. Then it was giong to be Oscar Wao, but now that Toltz is coming, I’m wondering if I should read his first . . . As for the line-up, it’s hard to compare – we’ll have to attend them both to make a proper assessment I guess. See you there?

    • John Self says:

      I see Heller and Dyer are double-billing. Might be interesting, maybe will pop down and see them. Admit I am one of the few who didn’t like Notes on a Scandal, finding the unreliable narrator a bit too obvious.

      I agree that A Fraction of the Whole was funny, fresh and original, though way too long. I’d wait for the paperback (which can’t be far off) unless you’ve got great physical stamina for carrying the massive hardback about.

      A good list of events overall. Anyone read Aifric Campbell’s The Semantics of Murder? I received my second review copy this week (it’s out in paperback soon) but still wasn’t tempted.

      Also might read William Fiennes’ The Music Room, which has been warmly (if not hotly) received in the press; I reckon though his double-header with Julie Myerson will be somewhat overshadowed by The Lost Child.

    • Rosie says:

      The Semantics of Murder reminded me of Michael Collins’ The Secret Life of E. Robert Pendleton. I liked it, but it might not be to everyone’s taste…

    • Stan says:

      Fiona: I haven’t, and it’s unlikely I will. Notes… was a whimsical buy from a charity shop; although I enjoyed it, it didn’t make her a must-read, and there are enough of those already!


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