Music is a common thematic and stylistic thread in his writing – from 1970s punk to classic roll ‘n’ roll to nineteenth-century ballads. But what seems most significant about O’Connor’s work is the profoundly intelligent analysis of cultural and historical dynamics that lies at the heart of it

At the beginning of Joseph O’Connor’s early novel, Cowboys and Indians, Eddie Virago, protagonist and UCD graduate recalls “the chatter of conversa(...)

Declan Kiberd on Joseph O’Connor: He has always loved plots which are driven by musical numbers or ballad forms –Star of the Sea being the brilliant Exhibit A. He has returned in this latest novel to that lost world of the 1980s – whose laureate he surely became even before the decade had ended

It was said that in the Dublin of the 1980s, there were at least a thousand garage bands rehearsing for greatness. That may even have been true. Th(...)

Joseph O’Connor with the 2012 Irish PEN Award for lifetime achievement: “Music soothes, heals, excites, consoles, reveals our better angels and binds up the wounds. It’s a difficult thing to write about, because music is itself. It doesn’t sound like anything else.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Would you say that this novel, which, on one level, is about music and friendship, is also about English-Irishness, the lives of Irish people in En(...)

The photograph was in black and white, very plain, almost stark, like a still from one of those cool French movies. It was taken by Robert Mapplethorpe, though I wouldn’t have known who that was ...The record was Horses by Patti Smith. In 40 years of buying records, it’s the only one I ever bought for its cover.

I remember the moment she came into my life. September 20th, 1978. It was my fifteenth birthday and an aunt who lived in London had sent me ten pou(...)

The Thrill of it All tells the story of a band called The Ships in the Night, using interviews, lyrics, memoirs and diaries.

This month The Irish Times Book Club is reading Joseph O’Connor’s latest novel, The Thrill of it All. Here is an extract from the first chapter, wh(...)

Culture Ireland’s Showcase Programme will support artists appearing at three festivals in  Edinburgh in the coming months.

Irish artists off to Edinburgh A star-studded line-up of Irish literature and theatre will feature at festivals in Edinburgh this month with the (...)

Offaly’s Paul McConway breaking the tackle against Waterford. Photo: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Waterford 1-7 Offaly 0-20 A first Championship win in four years kept Offaly’s summer alive at a sun-soaked Fraher Field, while Waterford were left to(...)

Ronan McEntire of Longford competes for the ball with Offaly’s Johnny Moloney during the Leinster SFC first-round match at O’Connor Park in Tullamore. Photo:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Down in the weeds, you spend most if your life tangled and trapped. If Saturday night in Tullamore taught us one thing, it was that teams from down th(...)

Ellen McCourt, wife of the late Frank McCourt, with Professor Joseph O’Connor before his inaugural lecture as Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Limerick. Photograph: Alan Place/FusionShooters

Award-winning novelist Joseph O’Connor has described up and coming young Irish writers as “dazzling in their scope and originality”.Speaking before hi(...)

Hall of fame: (Clockwise from left) Patrick McCabe; Frank McGuinness; Deirdre Madden; Colum McCann; Neil Jordan; Joseph O’Connor; Sebastian Barry and Dermot Healy

When Frank McGuinness, the playwright, was 16 a teacher told him that he’d never get to university, that nobody from his background in Buncran(...)

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