Women’s Prize shortlist and Trinity’s translators

What’s coming up in Saturday’s books pages

 

Three debutants – Elif Batuman, Imogen Hermes Gowar and Jessie Greengrass – were shortlisted this week for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, while Kamila Shamsie was shortlisted for the third time along with double National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward and Indian author Meena Kandasamy for the £30,000 award.

“When I opened my bookshop, a lot of people told me I was foolish,” says Dawn Behan of Woodbine Books in Kilcullen, Co Kildare, Ireland’s Independent Bookshop of the Year, who wrote an entertaining essay on the secret to her success, which is not the same, she hastens to add, as making her fortune.

A celebration of Seamus Heaney in poetry and song took place to mark the opening of a new building for the Trinity Centre for Literary and Cultural Translation in Dublin. Four translators of Heaney discuss in this article their and their country’s relationship with the late Nobel Prize winning poet, while Prof Michael Cronin in this short essay celebrates the vital role of translators: “they contribute in a very concrete way to the development of the empathetic imagination, the ability to be able to imagine what it is to be somebody other than oneself”.

Coming up in this Saturday’s Irish Times, Sinéad Gleeson, editor of The Long Gaze Back, this month’s Irish Times Book Club selection, argues in an essay that while there should be no need for all-female anthologies, distancing women from the hallowed hall of Irish literature, the word writer has a default meaning: “man”. Rosemary Jenkinson, author of the short story collection Catholic Boy, tackles Brexit, the Border and her “Britirish” identity.

We also have April’s Hennessy New Irish Writing winning short story and poems; a page of the best new Irish poems curated by Poetry Editor Gerard Smyth; Frank McNally on Flann O’Brien’s Collected Letters, edited by Maebh Long; Brian Dillon on Brainstorm by Suzanne O’Sullivan; Sarah Gilmartin on Problems by Jade Sharma; Seán Hewitt on White Houses by Amy Bloom; Joe Humphreys on Seven Types of Atheism by John Gray; Carlo Gébler on Friends with the Enemy, a memoir by the late Val Mulkerns; Sara Keating on the best new children’s books; and Julie Parsons on Indian Cookery by Madhur Jaffrey.

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