Sally Rooney to headline this year’s Dalkey Book Festival

Line-up includes Russia experts Fiona Hill and Catherine Belton and Simon Schama

Russia experts Fiona Hill and Catherine Belton, historian Simon Schama, novelist Sally Rooney and author and critic Fintan O’Toole are among the big names who will be speaking at this year’s Dalkey Book Festival.

Announcing the line-up Sian Smyth, director of the festival, said: “We at Dalkey Book Festival strongly believe that the 21st century began for real in 2022; everything that went before was a sideshow. A hundred years ago, Lenin said that there are decades when nothing happens and weeks where decades happen. We are living through such weeks.

“In 1922, the year Joyce published Ulysses, Ezra Pound declared the modern world had just begun. Could this year, 2022, mark a similar rupture in our world?”

In what could be one of the most pivotal years of our lifetime, the festival brings together thinkers from the worlds of literature, history, politics, journalism, technology and economics including Gary Shteyngart, Annie Mac, Robert Shrimsley, Blindboy, Luke O’Neill, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Elif Shafak, John Banville, Marian Keyes, David O’Doherty, James O’Brien, Claire Keegan, and Sarah Winman.


The festival, which takes place on June 16th-19th, has also announced the shortlists for this year’s Dalkey Literary Awards presented by Zurich. The winners of the 2022 Novel of the Year and Emerging Writer Awards, with a prize fund of €30,000, will be announced at the festival on June 18th.


The Novel of the Year shortlist features April in Spain by John Banville, Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney, Nora by Nuala O’Connor, Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan, and White City by Kevin Power.

The contenders for the Emerging Writer award are the novels A Crooked Tree by Una Mannion and Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding; Victoria Kennefick’s poetry collection Eat Or We Both Starve; Louise Kennedy’s short story collection The End of the World is a Cul de Sac; and Rosaleen McDonagh’s memoir Unsettled.

Kilkenomics comes to Dalkey this year, hosted by comedians Andrew Maxwell, Barry Murphy and Colm O’Regan. Eric Lonergan, Corinne Sawer and Mark Blyth will discuss Ireland Transformed: The Saudi Arabia of Renewable Energy? Marla Dukharan and Andrew Maxwell tackle cryptocurrency in Crypto: New Money or Old Scam? Blindboy brings his podcast, as too will Marian Keyes,Tara Flynn and David McWilliams.