David Butler wins Kiely story prize; Emilie Pine and Audrey Magee novels in 2022

A preview of Saturday’s books pages and a round-up of the latest literary news

David Butler

David Butler

 

In tomorrow’s Irish Times, Martin Hayes talks to Patrick Freyne about his memoir, Shared Notes; Dr Chris Luke talks to Jennifer O’Connell about his book, A Life In Trauma: Memoirs of an Emergency Physician; Simon Carswell talks to Brian O’Donovan about his memoir of reporting on Trump, Four Years in the Cauldron; and Ann Marie Hourihane talks to Patrick Freyne about her new book, Sorry for Your Trouble: The Irish Way of Death. Reviews are Peter Murphy on A Furious Devotion: The Life of Shane MacGowan by Richard Balls; Mia Levitin on Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen; Declan Hughes on the best new crime fiction; John Gibbons on Hot Air by Peter Stott; Tony Clayton-Lea on The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by Dave Grohl; John Boyne on Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet; Ruth McKee on The Spirit Engineer by AJ West; Paul Clements on the best new local history; and Jonathan McAloon on Life Without Children by Roddy Doyle.

Turn A Blind Eye by Jeffrey Archer is this weekend’s Irish Times Eason offer. You can buy it with the paper for just €4.99, a €6 saving.

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David Butler has won this year’s Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition, which was judged by Rob Doyle, with his story, First Time.

Doyle said: “It was a sincere honour to be asked to select the winners for the 2021 Benedict Kiely Short Story Competition – but also a sincere vexation, in that the quality of the ten finalist stories was so startlingly high, I couldn’t help but feel I was committing an injustice in declining to honour each of them with an award. That said, the top three I did select are, simply put, as fine, stimulating, and original as any short stories I’ve read lately.

First Time is a perfectly structured, highly satisfying story. It is strange, surprising, and written in a voice that engages from the opening line. In no more than seven pages, the writer performs a compelling examination of desire, grief, erotic confusion, youth and victimhood in a way that consistently confounds expectations. I was delighted to award it – against stiff competition – the first place prize.”

Butler’s third novel, City of Dis (New Island), was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year in 2015. His third poetry collection, Liffey Sequence, was published last month by Doire Press. Arlen House is to bring out his second short story collection, Fugitive, also in 2021. His literary prizes include the Maria Edgeworth (twice), Benedict Kiely, Redline and Fish International awards for the short story and the Féile Filíochta, Ted McNulty, Brendan Kennelly, Maria Edgeworth, and Poetry Ireland/Trocaire awards for poetry.

Maria Ressa has won the Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous fight to defend freedom of expression in the Philippines. WH Allen will publish her first book, How to Stand Up to a Dictator: The Fight for Our Future, next April, with a foreword from her lawyer Amal Clooney.

Ressa has spent decades speaking truth to power. But her work tracking disinformation networks seeded by her own government, spreading lies to its own citizens laced with anger and hate, has landed her in trouble with the most powerful man in the country: President Duterte.

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Submissions are sought for the 2021 John McGahern Annual Book Prize, which is run by The Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, with the approval of John McGahern’s literary estate, in 2019. The prize of £5,000 will be awarded to the best debut work of fiction by an Irish writer, or writer resident in Ireland for more than five years, published in 2021.

The deadline is December 10th. All submissions should also be accompanied by a form which can be downloaded here.

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Hamish Hamilton is to publish the debut novel by Emilie Pine, entitled Ruth & Pen, on May 5th, 2022. Her debut essay collection, Notes To Self, was originally published in Ireland by Tramp Press in 2018, and later by Hamish Hamilton in the UK. It won An Post Irish Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2018, as well as The Butler Literary Award 2018.

Ruth & Pen takes place over the course of one day in Dublin and follows two women: Ruth and Pen. Pine says: “What would you do if you were not afraid? That’s the question I asked myself after writing Notes to Self. And the answer is: Ruth & Pen. It’s not a coincidence that this is a novel all about what happens when you stop asking the world for permission to be yourself! I have loved discovering these two wonderful characters and along the way discovering my own voice in fiction. It has been an absolute joy to work with Simon Prosser as an editor. And I am so excited to see my first novel being published by Hamish Hamilton.’

Pine is professor of modern drama at University College Dublin, Ireland. She has published widely as an academic and critic.

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Faber & Faber is to publish Audrey Magee’s second novel, The Colony, next February. Her debut novel, The Undertaking, was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and an Irish book Award, translated into 10 languages and is being adapted for a film.The Colony is the story of a French writer and English painter who descend on a small island one summer, and the inhabitants whose home they seek to capture in their work.

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WonderFest online children’s book festival returns from November 17th to 21st, including events for schools, families and individuals featuring authors and illustrators Oliver Jeffers, Niamh Sharkey, Eoin Colfer, Muireann Ní Chíobháin, Chris Haughton, Judi Curtin, Derek Landy, Ashwin Chacko and Tarsila Kruse. The theme for this year’s festival is the importance of creativity in children’s lives . All events give children and adults all over Ireland the chance to interact with some of their favourite Irish writers and illustrators, and books to accompany the events can be purchased and posted out in advance by partner bookshop, Halfway Up the Stairs. For more info see wonderfest.ie. Booking via Pavilion Theatre website paviliontheatre.ie

The Irish Spanish / Latin American Festival – ISLA returns from October 14th to 16th with an array of online events. Held by the cultural wing of the Spanish Embassy in Ireland, Instituto Cervantes, it celebrates 10 years of promoting Spanish and Hispanic Latin American language, literature, science and the arts.

This year the festival, which will be online, includes literary discussions, screenings of important films, pirate story telling, a poetry and music recital and interviews with Irish writers Catherine Dunne, Louise Nealon and Patrick Freyne, as well as some of the top names in Spanish and Latin American literature.

Instituto Cervantes as a movement has spread Spanish culture and the joy of the Spanish language throughout the world for over 30 years. Here in Ireland, Instituto Cervantes is an active educational and cultural hub, which provides language courses, art installations, children’s events, food and cookery courses and historical events. Go to: Instituto Cervantes’ Eventbrite

An tOireachtas, in conjunction with Foras na Gaeilge, has announced the winners for Gradam Réics Carló 2021 (Irish-Language Book of the Year for Children), Gradam de Bhaldraithe 2021 (Irish-Language Book of the Year publications translated to Irish) and Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin 2021 (Irish-Language Book of the Year for Adults).

Publishing House Futa Fata, was awarded Gradam Réics Carló for the beautifully presented book, Cluasa Capaill Ar an Rí written by Bridget Bhreathnach and illustrated by Shona Shirley Macdonald. Dalen Éireann was awarded Gradam de Bhaldraithe for Taisce Raga Rua, a translation of Hergé’s Le Trésor de Rackham le Rouge from French to Irish by acclaimed author and poet, Gabriel Rosenstock. Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin was awarded to self-published author, Noel Ó Gallchóir, for his new book, Aisteoirí Ghaoth Dobhair 1931-1981. A collective prize fund of €17,000 was awarded.

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Launching their programme of events for November 19th-21st, Dingle Lit welcomes the return to the traditional festival format with President Michael D Higgins in Dingle to discuss his most recent publication Reclaiming the European Street. Claire Keegan will discuss her eagerly anticipated new novel, Small Things Like These, while singer songwriter Declan O’Rourke will chat about his debut novel, The Pawnbroker’s Reward. Online events include Emma Dabiri, Colm Tóibín, Kevin Barry and Paul Muldoon. Irish language events are aplenty with Declan Kiberd, Alex Hijmans and Victor Bayla, as well as a sprinkling of magical storytelling events for children. Tickets on sale this week.

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