Nora by Nuala O’Connor chosen for One Dublin One Book 2022

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

Nuala O’Connor

Nuala O’Connor

 

In Saturday’s Irish Times, John Connolly, editor of Shadow Voices: 300 Years of Irish Genre Fiction: A History in Stories, celebrates the neglected, often female, authors of genre fiction. Brian Cox talks to Donald Clarke about his new memoir, cancel culture, the SNP and his long career. Fintan Drury offers a rare insight into the troubled final years of Brian Cowen’s public life. Lara Marlowe recalls the life she shared with her former husband Robert Fisk, subject of her new memoir.

Reviews are Karlin Lillington on The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley’s Pursuit of Power by Max Chafkin; Kathleen MacMahon Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout; Neil Hegarty on The New Frontier: Reflections From the Irish Border, edited by James Conor Patterson; Kevin Toolis on Sorry for your Trouble by Ann Marie Hourihane; Simon Carswell on Four Years in the Cauldron by Brian O’Donovan; Susan McKay on The Last Irish Question: Will Six Into Twenty-Six Ever Go? by Glenn Patterson; Eamon Sweeney Bobby Gillespie Tenement Kid; Sarah Gilmartin on Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan.

The Pact by Sharon Bolton is this weekend’s Irish Times Eason offer. It can be purchased with The Irish Times for €4.99, a €6 saving.

Dublin City Council has named Nora: A Love Story of Nora Barnacle and James Joyce by Nuala O’Connor as the One Dublin One Book choice for 2022, following on from Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession in 2021.

One Dublin One Book aims to encourage everyone in Dublin to read a designated book connected with the capital city during the month of April every year. Dublin City Librarian Mairead Owens said: “I know that Nora will prove a rewarding reading experience for all who engage with One Dublin One Book 2022. For the centenary of the publication of Ulysses, it’s important for us to honour the contemporary writers Joyce has inspired, as well as the woman who inspired him.”

A full programme of events will be announced in April to accompany the reading initiative. O’Connor said: “I’m honoured and humbled that Dublin City Council has chosen Nora as its One Dublin One Book read for 2022, the Ulysses centenary year. I imagine Nora Barnacle would be as pleased as I am to see her contribution to the life and work of James Joyce celebrated in this way. I’m a proud Dub and this wonderful opportunity has me really looking forward to engaging with library users and readers, all over my home city, in 2022.”

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Picador has pre-empted Milk, “a map of motherhood” by Alice Kinsella, the Dublin-born writer who grew up in the west of Ireland, where she still lives. Commissioning editor Gillian Fitzgerald-Kelly acquired world rights, excluding North America, from Marianne Gunn O’Connor. Picador will publish in spring 2023.

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West Cork Literary Festival is planning further events for the autumn with a hybrid in-person/live stream reading and an online workshop just announced. On Saturday 13 November WCLF will take part in Dublin Book Festival when they present J.R. Thorp who will discuss her debut novel Learwife with Nadine O’Regan in front of a live audience in Smock Alley and also via live stream. Thorp is a writer and librettist from Australia but living in Cork and was named as one of the Top Ten Debut Novelists of 2021 by the Observer New Review. From 15-19 November join best-selling author Carmel Harrington for an online writing workshop on popular fiction with two 90-minute sessions each evening. Carmel’s workshop will cover everything from romantic comedies to thrillers, emotional contemporary family dramas to historical sagas and will take writers through ten steps to develop skills in characterisation, dialogue, setting, plotting, self-editing and submitting to agents and publishers. The sessions will be a mix of teaching, exercises, and group discussion. WCLF has also released many of its summer events on youtube and Graham Norton’s event with Liz Nugent from Bantry House last July is now available to re-watch (with closed captions). For further details westcorkmusic.ie 

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Irish journalist and writer Darren Boyle has won Capital Crime’s Amazon Publishing New Voices Award for his thriller The Black Pool, which is set in contemporary Dublin and follows a journalist investigating gang-organised tiger raids. Victoria Haslam, Amazon Publishing editor and New Voices Award judge, said: “Darren’s storytelling, setting, and authentic voice really shone, and he is an exciting new voice in the crime fiction world.” Casey King, from Co Cork, received an honourable mention for No Time to Cry. *

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