Book Club podcast: Paul Lynch on ‘Grace’

The author of the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year talks to Laura Slattery

Grace, the third novel by Irish author Paul Lynch, was the winner of this year’s Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year. In this month’s Irish Times Book Club podcast, recorded at the Irish Writers Centre in Parnell Square in Dublin, Lynch tells us how he came to write the story of a young girl as she crosses the Famine-stricken Ireland of the 1840s.

Lynch, who is also the author of Red Sky in Morning and The Black Snow, talks about how he researched the darkest consequences of famine, the influence of Cormac McCarthy on his work and how he built the hallucinatory quality of Grace’s desperate journey into his writing style, which has been praised for being lush and lyrical without prettifying the scars of the Famine.

The writer, who grew up in Co Donegal, also discusses what he has carried forward from his years as a film critic for the Sunday Tribune to the process of writing a novel, why he doesn’t identify easily with the label “historical fiction” and what he is working on next.