Norma McMaster longlisted for Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award in her 80s

A sneak preview of Saturday’s books pages

Norma McMaster: wrote  her debut, Silence Under a Stone,  in her 80s

Norma McMaster: wrote her debut, Silence Under a Stone, in her 80s

 

Norma McMaster has been longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award 2019 for her debut, Silence Under a Stone, quite an achievement for a writer in her 80s. Inaugurated in 1954, the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award is now in its 65th year, making it the longest-running UK prize for debut fiction and – except for the James Tait Black and the Hawthornden – the oldest literary prize in Britain. Previous Irish winners of the £2,500 prize include Brian Moore and Kevin Barry.

Saturday’s Irish Times books pages are jam-packed with goodies. Kevin Barry assesses the legacy of Flann O’Brien, as filtered through Anthony Cronin’s classic No Laughing Matter, just reissued by New Island. Max Porter talks to Shilpa Ganatra about Lanny, his follow-up to the hugely successful Grief Is a Thing with Feathers.

Christine Dwyer Hickey has written a powerful essay about being diagnosed with cancer while working on The Narrow Land, her new novel about Edward and Jo Hopper’s troubled marriage. Kevin Breathnach writes about his debut Faber essay collection, Tunnel Vision.

Review highlights include Susan McKay on Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez; Sarah Gilmartin on Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff; John Boyne on Max Porter’s Lanny; Julia Kelly on Married to Alzheimer’s: A Life Less Ordinary with Tony Booth by Steph Booth; Anne Harris on This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism by Ashton Applewhite; Niamh Donnelly on Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession; Martina Evans on Figuring by Maria Popova; Jonathan McAloon on The Snakes by Sadie Jones; Andrew Gallix on Ann Quin’s Berg; Rebecca Anne Barr on Katie Barclay, Men on Trial: Performing emotion, embodiment and identity in Ireland, 1800-45; John McAuliffe on new poetry collections by TS Eliot Prize-winner Hannah Sullivan, Mary Noonan and Marilyn Hacker; and Rob Doyle on But Beautiful (1991) by Geoff Dyer.

As if all that wasn’t enough, your purchase of The Irish Times in any Eason store this Saturday also entitles you to €7 off the cover price of A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne. Bargain!

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