Ruth Gilligan on RSL Ondaatje Prize shortlist

A preview of Saturday’s pages and round-up of literary news

Ruth Gilligan, author of The Butchers

Ruth Gilligan, author of The Butchers

 

Ruth Gilligan has been shortlisted for this year’s £10,000 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize for her novel, The Butchers, along with Nina Mingya Powles, Adam Mars-Jones, James Rebanks, Francesca Wade and Louise Hare.

The annual prize aims to reward the author of a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry that best evokes the spirit of a place.

The Butchers (Atlantic Books) traces the story of how a man ended up in a rural slaughterhouse, suspended by his feet on a meat hook. The winner will be revealed on May 11th.

The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter is this weekend’s Eason book offer. When you buy Irish Times, you can save €5 on the cover price of the bestselling thriller. This Saturday’s Ticket cover story is a look back at how The Irish Times reviewed some classic Irish works down the decades, from WB Yeats’s first collection at the end of the 19th century up to Anne Enright’s debut novel in the 1990s.

In Magazine, Anne Griffin discusses her new novel, Listening Still, with Tanya Sweeney. Reviews include Karlin Lillington on Jillian C York’s Silicon Values; Brian Dillon on Inventory of a Life Mislaid: An Unreliable Memoir By Marina Warner; John Banville on Hawking Hawking by Charles Seife; Conor O’Callaghan on American Mules by Martina Evans; Karl Whitney on Hanif Abdurraqib’s A Little Devil In America ; Sarah Gilmartin on The Coming Bad Days by Sarah Bernstein; Sara Keating on new children’s books; and Rónán Hession on the best new works in translation.

Sandycove is to publish the memoir this September of Ann Ingle, familiar to many Irish Times readers as the mother of my colleague Roisin Ingle. “This is a dream come true for me in my 82nd year,” Ann Ingle said. “I didn’t have time before because life got in the way. I’m so happy now that Sandycove is publishing Openhearted and looking forward to people reading my story.”

Patricia Deevy, deputy publisher at Sandycove, said: “I was utterly gripped by Ann’s clear, fresh and original voice. She tells an incredible love story, and life story, in a way that is both profoundly moving and refreshingly unsentimental. She is candid about everything that matters – love, sex, heartbreak, money, class, religion, mental health, rearing children (and letting them go), reading and writing, ageing. Openhearted is a glorious story about living life in a spirit of curiosity and delight, and with a willingness to look for good in others. I am thrilled to be publishing Ann’s book and believe it will resonate with readers of every age.”

Sandycove has also announced that it will publish Brian O’Donovan’s Four Years in The Cauldron, Telling the extraordinary story of America in Crisis, on October 21st.

O’Donovan, RTÉ’s Washington Correspondent, said: “Covering the presidency of Donald Trump was like being on a rollercoaster – from his controversial handling of the coronavirus and racial unrest, to his dramatic defeat in the November 2020 presidential election. And I have been privileged to have had a front row seat for it all. Four Years in the Cauldron provides a behind-the-scenes look at what it is like reporting on the world’s biggest news story and contains insights from key players in Washington and beyond. I am delighted to share my experiences of the dramatic, world-changing events that have been part of my life for the last four years.”

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The Red Line Book Festival is calling for its next writer in residence. This residency is open to all forms of writing. The chosen writer will be invited to engage with local communities in south Dublin through workshops and other work, as well as creating written work responding to the chosen theme. Along with the fee of €5,000, the successful applicant will also have access to a writing space.

The theme of this year’s residency is The Roaring Twenties. We are asking our next Writer in Residence to look back to our past to see what we have learned and forward to imagine what the 2020s will be like and what will make us roar!

All applications should be sent to libdevoff@sdublincoco.ie by noon on June 20th.

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Unlaunched: Martina Evans, Victoria Kennefick and Aoife Lyall takes place online, via zoom, at 7pm today, Thursday, April 29th. Tickets €5 are available from the West Cork Literary Festival website.

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The Literature Ireland supported Spanish translation of Marina Carr’s The Cordelia Dream has achieved runaway success in Spain this spring. Translator Diana I Luque has been awarded the prestigious María Martínez Sierra Translation Prize by the Spanish Theatre Directors’ Association.

El sueño Cordelia, published by Ediciones Antigona, with a translation grant from Literature Ireland, has now also been chosen by the Comunidad de Madrid as ‘one of the best books for young readers’ for the XXXVI Book Fair for Children and Youth. The book will be displayed in 120 public libraries in Madrid and will form part of 25 travelling exhibitions organised in the libraries, featuring interactive reading performances.

The collaboration between Marina and Diana is set to continue with plans to translate Marina’s new work, Girl on an Altar, in the near future.

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