Sara Baume: Books of the Year

‘Pearl Fishers’ all but doesn’t want to be found. Seek it out

Sara Baume, winner of the Davy Byrnes award this year, will release her debut novel Spill Simmer Falter Wither in 2015

Sara Baume, winner of the Davy Byrnes award this year, will release her debut novel Spill Simmer Falter Wither in 2015

 

In this age of easy attainability I love the idea of finding a book which all but doesn’t want to be found. Pearl Fishers by John Hutchinson (Douglas Hyde Gallery) can only be unearthed in one bookshop: the tiny one above the Douglas Hyde Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. It’s short and slight; the cover is almost completely white.

Inside are seven gleaming images, but it isn’t a book about the paintings it shows; they coexist with the text in a Sebaldian sort of way. Instead Pearl Fishers subsumes the poems of Rabindranath Tagore, the films of Robert Bresson, the songs of The Incredible String Band and Nick Drake, together with Steppenwolf, Franny and Zooey, Le Grand Meaulnes. Its loose premise is how the art we encounter early in our adult lives inexorably informs our sensibility thereafter.

In Dept of Speculation (Granta) an unnamed woman struggles to triumph over the myriad frustrations of ordinary life. Jenny Offill’s second novel is deft, brilliant and brave.

Sara Baume’s story Solesearcher1 won the 2014 Davy Byrnes Short Story Award. Her debut novel, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, will be published by Tramp Press in February
 

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.