Sally Rooney’s second novel, ‘Normal People’, due in September

Book news round-up: UL/Frank McCourt creative writing summer school; World Book Day; Words Ireland National Day for Writers

 Sally Rooney will appear at the Cuirt festival in Galway Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Sally Rooney will appear at the Cuirt festival in Galway Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Faber & Faber will publish the second novel by Sally Rooney in September, just 18 months after her highly acclaimed debut, Conversations with Friends.

Normal People is the story of Connell and Marianne, who grow up in the same small town in the west of Ireland – but they are from very different worlds. Connell’s mother works as a cleaner in Marianne’s family home. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years.

Mitzi Angel, publisher at Faber & Faber, said: ‘This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person’s life – a simple yet profound realization that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us - blazingly - about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney’s second novel breathes fiction with new life.’

Rooney’s debut novel was a Sunday Times, Guardian, Observer, Daily Telegraph and Evening Standard Book of the Year. The novel has been longlisted for the 2018 International Dylan Thomas Prize, and shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award: Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year 2017, and the Books Are My Bag Readers Choice Award 2017. Rooney was the winner of the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser and Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award 2017. Rooney is the editor of The Stinging Fly magazine.

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The UL/Frank McCourt creative writing summer school is taking place at University of Limerick from May 3rd to 6th with a stellar line-up of guest speakers including Bob Geldof, Marian Keyes, Kevin Barry, Joseph O’Connor, Donal Ryan, Julian Gough, Mary O’Malley, Kerry Neville, Martin Dyar, Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, Eoin Devereux and Alan Hayes of Arlen House publishers.

Other highlights include a literary brunch led by UL Creative Writing MA graduate and food writer Rachael Kealy; a live recording of RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany; an illustrated lecture: Don’t Judge a Book Just By The cover…Punk and Creativity, with live music by Section 17; and sessions on how to get published and writing for young adults.

The summer school is open to everyone but places are limited. No previous writing experience is required but some would be helpful. The fee is €200, €150 (student/unwaged). Informal queries are welcome at joseph.oconnor@ul.ie
frankmccourt.ulfoundation.com

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Words Ireland is holding A National Day for Writers as part of ILFDublin at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin.

This one-day conference is aimed specifically at experienced, professional writers, though newly published and emerging authors will also benefit. We’re building the ideal environment for over 200 writers to reflect on their creative and professional practice.

There will be opportunities to discuss and debate issues around the funding and development of literature in Ireland. Panel discussions on publishing, agents and rights sales as well as events dealing with ‘Words on Stage’. Writers will hear manifestos and keynote speeches from leading Irish and international authors, and ways to develop as a writer at home and abroad.

In the main hall, writers will meet one-to-one with leading professionals from across the industry - agents, festival directors, resource organisations, publishers - all of whom regularly offer work to writers. Presentations of newly created literature and writer-led projects with examples of collaboration and cross-disciplinary writing will offer inspiration and new ideas. To register your interest in taking a table, email info@wordsireland.ie

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The Dublin Writers Museum acquired last autumn a most significant collection of Lafcadio Hearn material, which is currently on show there. Robert Nicholson has done a most meticulous and illuminating job of displaying and explaining the Hearn material donated by the Greek (but New York-based) art dealer and outstanding Hearn collector-patron, Takis Efstathiou. Nobody could visit this jewel of an exhibition without emerging with a very clear sense of exactly why Lafcadio Hearn matters as a writer, a writer who happens to have once called Dublin home. The exhibition is closing at the end of March. The museum at 18 Parnell Square is open Monday to Saturday 10am-5pm, Sundays 11am-5pm.

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World Book Day comes to Liberty Hall, Dublin, in partnership with Dublin City Libraries on February 26th, hosted by Steven Butler with Derek Landy, Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, ER Murray, Gerard Siggins, David O’Doherty and Chris Judge. In addition to the tour dates, there will be two 30-minute exclusive online specials, including an Illustrator Extravagazna, available for schools, bookshops and libraries to stream.

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Books Upstairs is pleased to announce its second annual Poetry Day poetry competition. The theme this year is “Bidding adieu to Britain”. There is a 14-line limit and a prize of a €100 Books Upstairs gift token. Closing date is April 23rd. Please send entries in the body of an email to shop@booksupstairs.ie

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