First-edition Beckett bio with Lucia Joyce autograph on sale

Bookmarks: Speaking on the Rising, Anne Enright in Limerick, and Mercier novel competition

Lucia Joyce: Beckett turned her down in 1923 but helped pay for her medical care four decades later.

Lucia Joyce: Beckett turned her down in 1923 but helped pay for her medical care four decades later.

 

A first edition of Deirdre Bair’s Samuel Beckett: A Biography, published in 1978 and signed by James Joyce’s daughter Lucia, is one of the highlights of this year’s Dublin Book Fair.

Joyce signed the reproduction of her drawing of her father in the Beckett biography. This is the only known book signed by Lucia, aside from the limited edition of Storiella as She Is Syung, published in 1937. The signature was obtained a couple of years before her death by Kerith Trick, one of the doctors who treated Joyce at St Andrew’s Hospital in Northampton, where she was committed in 1951. The book retains Trick’s bookplate and a signed note by him attesting to the signature.

Samuel Beckett had famously rejected the advances of Lucia in 1923, when he was 23 and working for her father in Paris. Almost 40 years later, in 1962, Beckett donated royalties from his essay on Joyce’s Finnegans Wake to help pay for her treatment.

The Dublin Book Fair features 18 booksellers offering everything from antiquarian tomes to modern first editions. The fair takes place on Saturday and Sunday, October 1st and 2nd, in the Freemasons Hall, 17 Molesworth Street. Admission is €3.

Five on the Rising

The National Library launched its Inspiration Proclamation series this week as historian and broadcaster John Bowman held a public interview with Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin. The series continues through October and November with prominent figures from Irish life sharing their insights and thoughts on the relevance of the 1916 Proclamation during hour-long public interviews.

They are historian Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh; writers Roddy Doyle and Edna O’Brien; and former president of Ireland Mary McAleese, now professor of Irish studies at St Mary’s University in London. See nli.ie.

Enright to talk on Maeve Brennan

Anne Enright, the Man Booker Prize winner and inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction, will give a public reading from her own work and deliver a lecture, “An Irishwoman Abroad: Maeve Brennan Goes Mad in New York”, as part of the University of Limerick’s Creative Writing programme on Thursday, October 6th, at 6.30pm. Enright will be introduced by UL’s writer in residence, Donal Ryan.

Novelist Joseph O’Connor, UL’s McCourt Professor of Creative Writing, said: “To welcome Anne Enright in October will be a special and particular delight for our students, faculty and all literature lovers in the Limerick and midwest region. There’s huge excitement here for Anne’s visit. My advice is, book early.”

Tickets are free but booking is required. RSVP by September 30th to Jen Coppinger, project manager for the Laureate for Irish Fiction, at laureate.irishfiction@artscouncil.ie

New novelist contest from Mercier

Mercier Press, Ireland’s oldest independent publishing house, has launched a competition to find a first-time fiction writer with the potential to become a bestselling author. The Mercier Press Fiction Competition is accepting manuscripts from unpublished authors until February 1st. In addition to a publishing deal, the winner will receive a €1,000 cash prize.

“Mercier Press has a history of nurturing new talent,” said managing director Mary Feehan. “In an ideal world, we will find our next John B Keane. But our main reason for running this competition is to encourage creative writing. For both authors and publishers, fiction is a hugely competitive genre and we are keen to publish the best fiction Ireland has to offer.”

To enter, authors must submit 10,000-12,000 words of original fiction aimed at young adults or adults, as well as a 1,000-word synopsis. Full details are at mercierpress.ie. Entrants must live in Ireland and are only eligible to enter if they have not had a novel published.

Baume and O’Donoghue in Bandon

Sara Baume and Bernard O’Donoghue will both read from their work on Sunday, October 2nd as part of the Engage Arts Festival in Bandon Co Cork, which opens on September 29th. See engageartsfestival.com.

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