News from the world of books
Catherine Dunne: winner of the Giovanni Boccaccio International Prize for Fiction for her novel, The Things We Know Now. Photograph: Domnick Walsh
Won in translation
Irish novelist Catherine Dunne has been awarded the Giovanni Boccaccio International Prize for Fiction for her last novel, The Things We Know Now. Previous winners include Vikram Seth, Muriel Spark and Mark Haddon.
Dunne generously gave 25 per cent of the €5,000 cash prize to her translator, Ada Arduini. Published in Italy last November as Quel che ora sappiamo, the novel became an instant bestseller. It was published in paperback in Ireland yesterday.
The Boccaccio Literary Society said of Dunne’s novel: “In her imaginative exploration of the most painful grief that anyone can endure – the loss of a child through suicide – Dunne excavates the subtleties of both the inexplicable and the unspeakable. She illuminates that lack of understanding and awareness that can inhabit even the strongest and closest of our human relationships.”
Dunne was born in Dublin and studied English and Spanish at Trinity College, Dublin. She is the author of nine novels including Missing Julia, Something Like Love, At A Time like This, and Set in Stone. She has also written about Irish immigration in An Unconsidered People: The Irish In Sixties London.
Country house drama
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a stately home, wishing to be in possession of a sophisticted reputation, must be in want of a literary event.
To that end, Salterbridge House, Cappoquin, Co Waterford, built in 1750, is marking the 200th anniversary of the publication of Pride and Prejudice with a celebration of Jane Austen on Sunday, October 6th. Regency dress is optional, with a prize for the best dressed participants. For those loth to run the gauntlet of locals in more modern attire, changing rooms will be available for guests to complete their toilette on arrival.
Dr Sophia Hillen, author and lecturer on Irish literature, will speak about “Cassandra’s Star: Jane Austen’s nieces in Ireland. After an Austen-inspired three-course lunch, there will be an “unforgettable bouquet of amusing, tender and dramatic scenes from her much loved novels” entitled Ladies of Jane, Scenes from the Pen of Jane Austen. An Austen quiz completes the day. Bookings: 058 54952.
The children’s book
Dubray Books has published a second edition of Mad About Books (€2), its excellent guide to children’s books edited by Sarah Webb. It contains more than 400 book reviews and author interviews. The first edition, published in 2007, has become a valued reference book for many teachers, librarians and parents. The guide also includes advice on setting up book clubs and on encouraging children to read. Another chapter is devoted to finding books that deal with many issues faced by children and teenagers such as bereavement, divorce and bullying.
Irish author Carmel Harrington has signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins’s digital first romance imprint, HarperImpulse. Her novel, Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, was published earlier this month as an ebook but will be released in paperback later this year. Her second book, Sleep of Dreams, will be published in December.
Harrington initially self-published Beond Grace’s Rainbow as an ebook, winning a Kindle Peoples Book Award last March and a Bord Gais Boook Club recommended read.