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Three Irish authors on £10,000 Goldsmiths Prize shortlist

Bookmarks: Books are my Bag; An Evening for Book Lovers; Echoland is Dublin: One City One Book choice; IMRAM Irish language literature festival

Eimear McBride: shortlisted for Goldsmiths Prize for The Lesser Bohemians. Photograph: Eric Luke

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride is one of three Irish novels to have been shortlisted for this year’s Goldsmiths Prize, which she won in 2014, its inaugural year, for A Girl is a Half-formed Thing.

Also on the six-strong shortlist, chosen from 111 submissions, are Martin John by Anakana Schofield and Solar Bones by Mike McCormack, published by Tramp Press in Dublin. The latter will be October’s Irish Times Book Club selection. The shortlist is completed by Transit by Rachel Cusk; Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyika; and Hot Milk by Deborah Levy, which is also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The winner of the £10,000 prize rewarding fiction at its most novel will be announced at a ceremony at Foyles in central London on November 9th. The judging panel is Blake Morrison, Bernadine Evaristo, Erica Wagner and Joanna Walsh.

Morrison, professor of creative and life writing at Goldsmiths, University of London said: “Innovative novels used to suffer from the stigma of ‘difficulty’ but one thing we’ve learned since the Goldsmiths Prize was launched four years ago is what a large and responsive readership they reach.”

The Goldsmiths Prize was launched in 2013 with the goal of celebrating the spirit of creative daring associated with the University and to reward fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form. Works by authors from the UK and Republic of Ireland are eligible for the award.

Books are my Bag

Books are my Bag, the annual celebration of books and bookshops kicks off on Thursday, October 6th – Super Thursday (the biggest day on the bookselling calendar, which Christmas titles are released) – with a very special tote bag designed by Irish illustrator Fatti Burke (Irelandopedia). Bookshops across Ireland will host events, parties, live illustrations and author readings to celebrate bookshops and reading. Big Bookshop Parties take place nationwide on Saturday, October 8th, as well as throughout the month. Award-winning designer Coralie Bickford-Smith has also designed a collectors’ edition bag for 2016, as well as a specially commissioned children’s bag from Egmont Publishing, celebrating his 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh.

An Evening for Book Lovers

Broadcaster Rick O’Shea hosts An Evening for Book Lovers, a charity event in association with Eason Book Club to raise funds for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, at 7.30pm on Friday, October 7th, in the beautiful Victorian surroundings of the Royal College of Physicians, 6 Kildare Street, Dublin, with authors Alex Barclay, Hazel Gaynor, Melissa Hill and Deirdre Purcell. The evening will kick off with a drinks reception followed by supper with wine. O’Shea will then host a discussion panel. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the authors and have their books signed. Tickets are €75 and can be purchased at

Echoland is Dublin: One City One Book choice

Echoland by Joe Joyce, published by Liberties Press, is the Dublin: One City One Book choice for 2017. Lord Mayor Brendan Carr said: “I am sure that lovers of thrillers and of history will enjoy this book. I encourage all Dubliners to read it and participate in the programme of events during the month of April 2017.” Dublin City Librarian Margaret Hayes said: “Echoland is set in the Dublin of 1940, expertly capturing the atmosphere of the city as its citizens cope with the challenges of the Emergency. It’s a brilliant opportunity for us to re-imagine our City as it was, while enjoying a thrilling read.” Joe Joyce said: “I’m delighted and honoured that Echoland will be Dublin’s One City One Book for 2017. The city is an integral part of the book, not just the backdrop to a spy story. As I was writing it, I was very conscious of the hardships and great dangers of the Emergency period, faced – as always by Dubliners – with resilience and wit.” Since its inception in 2006, the Dublin: One City One Book Festival has encouraged everyone to read a book connected with Dublin during the month of April.

IMRAM Irish language literature festival

This year’s IMRAM Irish language literature festival, which runs from October 6th to 21st, celebrates modern writing in Irish through multi-media events fusing prose, poetry, visuals and music. Highlights include Réaltneach/Starman, with Liam Ó Maonlaí and The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra performing David Bowie songs translated into Irish by Gabriel Rosenstock; Aodh Ó Domhnaill’s new play Lón Leningrad exploring the life of poet Anna Akhmatova; and a special dramatic reading of Game of Thrones in Irish, featuring medieval music performed by Caitríona O’Leary. Aisling Gheal is a bilingual performance of the late Caitlín Maude’s poetry featuring Biddy Jenkinson and musicians Colm Ó Snodaigh and Enda Reilly. A gala night in the Tivoli Backstage features new music from IMLÉ and Eoin Dillon, as well as poetry from Séamus Barra Ó Súilleabháin, who will read to a live soundtrack created by Slavek Kwi, while Dairena Ní Chinnéide will read with musician Rónán Ó Snodaigh. In Cuaifeach Mo Londubh Buí, Séamas Mac Annaidh will read from his experimental novel of the same title to accompaniment from guitar wizard Steve Cooney. IMRAM will also have a Czech night; talks on An Béal Bocht and Cré na Cille; workshops and a special typography exhibition by DIT students.