Philippe Sands finds his family amid crimes against humanity

Bookmarks: a round-up of the latest Irish literary news and listings

Philippe Sands: The Franco-British lawyer has won a £30,000 prize for his new book, a “double detective story”.

Philippe Sands: The Franco-British lawyer has won a £30,000 prize for his new book, a “double detective story”.

 

East West Street: A Personal Take on the Origins of Genocide & Crimes Against Humanity has won the £30,000 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2016. Author Philippe Sands is donating the money to charity.

East West Street is really a double detective story,” Sands says. “It’s a search to unlock a family secret: the circumstances in which my grandfather and my grandmother, along with my mother, left Vienna in the course of the years that followed. And then it’s a detective story about the origins of crimes against humanity and genocide: two subjects that occupy my life as an academic, but also as a practising lawyer doing cases in international courts.”

Sands, who is professor of law and director of the Centre on International Courts and Tribunals at University College London, will speak about his work on November 30th at 7.30pm in the Burke Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin. All are welcome to attend.

Honoured in translation

The Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association will confer honorary membership on Eileen Battersby, literary correspondent for The Irish Times, in recognition of her many reviews of translated fiction. Previous honorary members include Seamus Heaney, Máire Mhac an tSaoi, Agnes Bernelle, Gabriel Rosenstock, Edith Grossman and Michael Cronin of Dublin City University.

Prof Cronin will talk about Battersby’s contribution to translation at the event at the Irish Writers Centre, 19 Parnell Square, Dublin at 7 pm on December 2nd. The association was established in 1986 and has more than 300 members.

The price of hope

Hope may be in short supply these days, but with Christmas just over a month away, Listowel Writers Week and Stoney Road Press Fine Art Print Studio in Dublin hope to corner the high-end market in it, having collaborated to publish a limited edition portfolio called Hope.

Irish writers Eavan Boland, Anne Enright, Jennifer Johnston, Brendan Kennelly and Colm Tóibín were invited to present personal and original responses to the theme of “Hope” for inclusion in the collection. Accompanying these five exclusive signed texts is a specially commissioned, limited-edition signed print by Irish artist Donald Teskey reflecting the beauty of the Kerry coastline. Each text has been individually printed using traditional printing methods on high-quality, handmade, deckle-edged paper using specialist inks.

The handmade portfolio is limited to 100 copies and will not be reprinted. Hope does not come cheaply, however – each edition costs €1,000.

To purchase, contact info@writersweek.ie or mail@stoneyroadpress.ie

Poetry’s big prize

The next Strokestown International Poetry Festival, which runs from April 27th-30th, is Ireland’s longest-running poetry festivals, with a reputation for friendly informality twinned with a deep respect for the art. The closing date for entries to its main competition categories is December 2nd.

With a first prize of €2,000 and a paid reading (€200) for other shortlisted poets in the English category, judges Maura Dooley and Paddy Bushe will read and consider all entries for this prestigious prize. The Duais de hÍde 2017 winner of the Irish poetry section will receive a first prize of €500 and will be judged by Cathal Ó Searcaigh.

Shortlisted poets in these two categories will also be published in the forthcoming festival anthology, alongside the work of the judges and other featured readers . See strokestownpoetry.org.

Cole in for reading

The US poet Henri Cole will give a reading on November 30th at 7pm at Poetry Ireland, 11 Parnell Square East, Dublin, in an event co-organised with Trinity College Dublin. Tickets are free, but advance booking is highly recommended. See poetryireland.ie.

Debut writer signings

Kathleen Watkins will visit Kilkenny and Limerick for signings of Pigín of Howth, her award-winning, No 1 best-selling children’s picture book debut. The author will be at O’Mahony’s, 120 O’Connell St, Limerick, on November 26th at 2pm; and The Book Centre, 10 High Street, Kilkenny on December 10th at 2pm.

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