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Leonard and Hungry Paul is 2021 One Dublin One Book

Dublin City Council is delighted to announce that Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession is the One Dublin One Book choice for 2021, following on from Tatty by Christine Dwyer Hickey in 2020.

One Dublin One Book aims to encourage everyone in Dublin to read a designated book connected with the capital city during the month of April every year. This annual project is a Dublin City Council initiative, led by Dublin City Libraries and encourages reading for pleasure. 

Dublin City Librarian, Mairead Owens, says “On behalf of Dublin City Council Libraries, I am delighted to have the opportunity of promoting this wonderful book by Rónán Hession.  It reminds us all that life is precious and that there are many challenges facing us as we negotiate daily life.  The book is uplifting and positive and gives comfort at this time.  The book is a treasure and will hopefully encourage many more readers to seek refuge and sustenance from reading.”

A new One Dublin One Book edition of Leonard and Hungry Paul (Bluemoose Books) will be available to borrow from all public libraries nationwide, electronically via BorrowBox, and to buy from all good book shops. There will be online events in April to accompany the reading initiative. 

“I am sincerely grateful and proud that Leonard and Hungry Paul has been chosen as this year’s One Dublin One Book. I would like to thank Dublin City Council for this great honour. I was born in Dublin and have lived and worked here all my life, so this means a lot to me. And of course, I have spent countless happy hours firing my imagination with the books I have borrowed from the wonderful libraries we have throughout Dublin. Leonard and Hungry Paul is a gentle book about two friends learning to engage with the world without becoming overwhelmed by it. I hope my fellow Dubliners find it a source of peace and enjoyment in the year ahead.” says Rónán Hession.

The Book

Leonard and Hungry Paul are two quiet friends who see the world differently. They use humour, board games and silence to steer their way through the maelstrom that is the 21st century. It is the story of two friends trying to find their place in the world. It is about those uncelebrated people who have the ability to change the world, not by effort or force, but through their appreciation of all that is special and overlooked in life.

The Author

Rónán Hession is an Irish writer based in Dublin. His debut novel Leonard and Hungry Paul was published by Bluemoose Books in the UK and by Melville House Books in the US. Leonard and Hungry Paul has been nominated for a number of prizes, including the Irish Novel of the Year and the British Book Award for Best Debut. Rónán has also been longlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards for Short Story of the Year. Rónán’s second novel, Panenka, will be published in May 2021. As Mumblin’ Deaf Ro, he has released three albums of storytelling songs. His third album Dictionary Crimes was nominated for the Choice Music Prize for Irish album of the year. 

The Publisher

Leonard and Hungry Paul is published by Bluemoose Books 

City of Books Podcast featuring Lisa McInerney

RIOTOUS RULES
From gender reassignment to Lady Gregory, and from reflections on social in Ireland to the challenges of writing for television – a conversation with Lisa McInerney covers a lot of ground.
The Glorious Heresies author also talks about how she was raised by her grandparents, who adopted her after her birth mother had her at the age of 20.
It meant her mother was legally her sister, and the multi-award-winning author questions why the State retained the concept of illegitimacy until the late 1980s.
But having a strong, loving grandmother has given a template for robust female characters with an instinct for survival – showcased again in the latest and final part of her trilogy, The Rules of Revelation.
Lisa has adapted her Heresies trilogy for a television series and, while Covid-19 has delayed it, she hopes it will soon be back in track, she tells Martina Devlin in an interview with the City of Books podcast.

LISTEN HERE

More here on The Rules of Revelation, which maps present day Ireland as experienced by a group of people on the fringes of society in Cork:
https://www.lisamcinerney.com
City of Books is funded by the Arts Council and supported by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and MOLI, the Museum of Literature Ireland.

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli wins the 2021 Dublin Literary Award

Mexican author Valeria Luiselli has won the 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award, sponsored by Dublin City Council, for her novel Lost Children Archive  (published by 4th Estate (Harper Collins) in the UK and Vintage Books (Alfred A. Knopf) in the USA. With prize money of €100,000, the Award is the world’s largest prize for a single novel published in English. Valeria Luiselli is the first writer from Mexico and the fifth woman to claim the prestigious award in its 26 year history.

Valeria Luiselli, winner of the 2021 Dublin Literary Award at the New York Irish Consul General’s Residence, New York. Photo: James Higgins

Uniquely, the Award receives its nominations from public libraries in cities around the globe and recognises both writers and translators. The winner was announced on Thursday the 20th May at a special online event, at the opening of the International Literature Festival Dublin, which runs until May 30th.  Lord Mayor Hazel Chu made the announcement from Dublin, with the presentation to the winner taking place at the Irish Consulate in New York City, where Valeria Luiselli resides. Consul General Ciarán Madden, and previous winner of the DUBLIN Literary Award Colm Tóibín, were delighted to present  Luiselli with her award on behalf of Dublin City Council. Irish author Colm Tóibín won the DUBLIN Literary Award in 2006 for his novel The Master.

Accepting her award, winner Valeria Luiselli spoke passionately about the importance of literature now more than ever:

I can say, without a hint of doubt, that without books – without sharing in the company of other writers’ human experiences – we would not have made it through these months. If our spirits have found renewal, if we have found strength to carry on, if we have maintained a sense of enthusiasm for life, it is thanks to the worlds that books have given us. Each time, we found solace in the companions that live in our bookshelves.’

CEO of Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, said:

 ‘I wish to extend huge congratulations to Valeria Luiselli on winning the Dublin Literary Award. I’m immensely proud that Dublin City Council sponsors this international prize, which brings the literature of the world to Dublin, and it was especially important to be able to reach out to international library colleagues to make the Award happen this year.’

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. An acclaimed writer of both fiction and nonfiction, she is the author of the novels Faces in the Crowd and The Story of My Teeth, which won the 2016 LA Times Book Prize for Fiction; the essay collection Sidewalks; and Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions. She is the winner of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and an American Book Award, and has twice been nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize. She has been a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and the recipient of a Bearing Witness Fellowship from the Art for Justice Fund. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, and McSweeney’s, among other publications, and has been translated into more than twenty languages. Lost Children Archive which won the 2020 Rathbones Folio Prize is her first novel written in English. She lives in New York City.

About Lost Children Archive

In Valeria Luiselli’s fiercely imaginative follow-up to the American Book Award-winning Tell Me How It Ends, an artist couple set out with their two children on a road trip from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. As the family travels west, the bonds between them begin to fray: a fracture is growing between the parents, one the children can almost feel beneath their feet. Through ephemera such as songs, maps and a Polaroid camera, the children try to make sense of both their family’s crisis and the larger one engulfing the news: the stories of thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States but getting detained—or lost in the desert along the way. A breath-taking feat of literary virtuosity, Lost Children Archive is timely, compassionate, subtly hilarious, and formally inventive—a powerful, urgent story about what it is to be human in an inhuman world.

Borrow the Book

Copies of the winning title, the shortlisted novels and the full list of longlisted novels for the 2021 award are available to borrow from Dublin City libraries and from public libraries throughout Ireland. Readers can also borrow the winning novel on BorrowBox: eBooks and eAudiobooks for limited periods by way of digital loans. Further details about the Award and the winning novel are available on the Award website at www.dublinliteraryaward.ie

The 2021 Judging Panel, which is led by Professor Chris Morash of Trinity College Dublin, and includes Jan Carson, David James Karashima, Dr. Rita Sakr, Dr. Martín Veiga and Enda Wyley, commented:

‘While all of the books on this year’s Shortlist provided outstanding instances of what the novel can do in the twenty-first century, the Judges felt that one book in particular pushed the boundaries of contemporary fiction, while at the same time telling a compelling story.  Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive manages to do many things at once.  At its most basic level, it is the story of a couple and their children driving across the United States, from New York to the Southwest border with Mexico.  The parents, who are sound recordists, want to make recordings of absences; she, of the children who have been lost crossing the border, he of the Native Americans who used to live in the area.  However, woven into this framework are reflections on sound, on silence, a magic realist story read by the children, and artefacts, including an entire chapter made of Polaroid photographs.  The result is a richly textured novel that reminds us that the novel is always capable of being pushed in new directions.  As the title suggests, this is the novel as archive, as a repository of memory.’

Lost Children  Archive was nominated by Biblioteca Vila De Gràcia, a public library in Barcelona, Spain. The winning novel was chosen from a shortlist of 6 novels by writers from Ireland, Mexico, the UK and the USA.

Watch the 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award Winner Announcement✨

 

ILFDublin Finale Event: Colm Toíbín in conversation with Valeria Luiselli

As a fitting finale to ILFDublin 2021, Valeria Luiselli will be welcomed to the festival, for an in-depth conversation about her novel,  with previous DUBLIN Literary Award winner Colm Toíbín, and to take questions from the audience.

Complimentary tickets can be booked now 

Wonju UNESCO City of Literature Residency Opportunity

Call for UNESCO City of Literature 2021 Wonju Residency

Wonju City of Literature offers a chance for writers from Cities of Literature to come to Wonju and stay in Toji Cultural Centre for our very first Residency program, as an international level contribution to the cities of literature sub-network, designed to promote the understanding and the friendship of cities of literature. In this year’s call, one writer from cities of literature and/or who have a close connection to cities of literature will benefit from CoL 2021 Wonju Residency.

Residency Details

  • Closing Date of Application: June 6
  • 1st Phase and 2nd Phase of Application Assessment: June 7 thru June 17
  • Announcement of Final Winner: June 18
  • Place for Residency: Toji Cultural Centre
  • Residency Duration: Up to eight weeks (excluding 2 weeks of self-quarantine)
  • Round-trip Air Ticket Provided
  • Transportation for official purposes while in Korea provided
  • Initiating Date of Residency: Officially on September 1
  • Meals (all organic) are provided at the cafeteria of Toji Cultural Centre (Exceptions: Only lunch on Saturdays are provided and no prepared meals are available on public holidays.)
  • Writing Room: One of Rooms for Writers at Toji Cultural Centre provided during Residency

How to Apply

  • Let us know about yourself
  • Let us know about your literary works, achievements, awards, etc
  • Let us know about your literary world
  • Tell us about why you would like to come to Wonju and stay in Toji Cultural Centre
  • Please tell us about how your literary world is or can be connected to Wonju.

 

Please note that you can write not more than one A4 sheet (10 to 12 font size) per each numbered subject above. Portfolio is optional. You can learn more about Wonju by visiting http://wjccity.wonju.go.kr/cityofliterature/index1.php?gid=english and reading the section of UNESCO City of Literature, Wonju.

 

Selection and Notification

We will go through 2nd phase of assessment based on the submitted document. One final recipient for the Residency will be decided by an independent panel designated by Toji Cultural Centre. Final notification will be available to both the recipient and the coordinator on June 18.

 

COVID-19 Self-quarantine

Payments (only lodging and meals) incurred during the duration of the COVID-19 self-quarantine in Korea will be covered by Wonju City. Two weeks’ of self-quarantine is mandatory in Korea. Factoring this duration in, we ask the recipient to arrive before August 18. The residency in Toji Cultural Centre officially starts on September 1.

Requirements during Residency

There are no specific requirements for the recipient to bear. We want the recipient to relax and engage in his/her creative activity as much as possible during the Residency. Besides, as Korean writers will be staying in Toji Cultural Centre, forging friendship with them is recommended, too. As for cultural activities in and outside of Wonju, I will further talk with the selected recipient.

Please send your application to dewkorea@korea.kr (Drake Yang)  no later than June 6.

City of Books Podcast Featuring Nuala O’Connor

Nora Blooms Beneath Nuala’s Hands

At the age of 20, three months after meeting James Joyce, Nora Barnacle left everything she knew behind to share the adventure of a lifetime with him.

She was a maid in Finn’s Hotel in Dublin when they met, and he was a clever and ambitious young man who wanted to be a writer.

In 1904, they shipped out for mainland Europe, at times living a hand-to-mouth existence, and at other times eating in the best restaurants. But through it all, Galway-born Nora stuck by Joyce, and in turn he treated her as his muse and immortalised her as Molly Bloom in Ulysses.

 Writer Nuala O’Connor, who brings Nora vividly to life in her novel of the same name, discusses the famous literary couple in the latest City of Books podcast with Martina Devlin.

“He is in danger of looming too large and I wanted it to be her story,” she says.

“I didn’t want Nora to be a small fact in the larger fact of James Joyce’s genius. I wanted her to be very much her own person.

“He saw great nobility in Nora, he really trusted her, and they had a great bedroom life. They knew what each other wanted.”

Nuala made a point of including sex scenes in the novel because she believes their sexual rapport was an important part of the relationship.

“There’s a tendency for writers to close the doors as soon as the curtains close. I’d rather write it out and I’d rather have the reader have that,” she says.

Nora: A Love Story of Nora Barnacle and James Joyce by Nuala O’Connor is published by New Island.

LISTEN HERE

Look! It’s a WOMAN Writer! Dublin, Arlen House, 2021

Everyone knows what Ireland was like in the 1950s:  poor, patriarchal, puritanical. A dark Baile Gan Gáire sort of country, one imagines, symbolized by  tyrannical bishops, craw-thumping peasants, penitential Mother and Baby homes. Censorship. It wasn’t a country which treasured its writers, male or female.  Indeed it was more likely the ban than to celebrate them if they were capable of an original thought.  The important editors, publishers, critics – the literary establishment – were almost invariably men.  And as for women writers? They existed, of course they did, but  heavily outnumbered by their male colleagues.  Samuel Johnson’s sexist and oft cited quote would not have sounded amiss, if applied to Irish writers in the 1950s. “Sir, a woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.” 

And yet most of the 21 women who contribute to this anthology were born in this benighted decade – the youngest as it ended in 1960, the oldest some years before it started, the majority right in the middle. That meant they became teenagers in the 1960s, quite a good decade in which to be a teenager in Ireland.  ‘The sexual revolution began in 1963/which was just too late for me’ wrote Philip Larkin. But it was just at the right moment for women born in the 1950s. They came of age in the 1970s, when the winds of feminism were blowing fresh ideas and attitudes to Ireland.  They published their first books mainly in the 1980s, when publishers and editors in Ireland began to notice that what we then called ‘the woman’s voice’ was not heard very often in Irish letters.

There have been great changes in Irish life and Irish attitudes over the past fifty years. The literary scene has changed too. Serious fiction and poetry is no longer dominated by the male voice, as it was to a degree which now seems almost bizarre in the 1950s and 1960s. A woman writer is no longer a rara avis, someone who surprises, like a dancing dog, because she does it at all.

This book maps the changes which have occurred in Irish literature over the past fifty years or so, from the point of view of those who create literature, the writers themselves.  21 writers, poets, fiction writers, playwrights, writers in Irish and English, from the North of Ireland and the South, tell their own stories. They are funny, tragic, angry, philosophical, but all are vivid personal accounts of what it has been like to be a woman writing in Ireland during a pivotal period in the history of Ireland in general and Irish literature in particular.

With a foreword by Martina Devlin, and an introduction by the editor Eilis Ni Dhuibhne,  and an Afterword by Alan Hayes, the anthology includes exciting and brilliant essays by

Cherry Smyth, Mary Morrissy , Lia Mills, Moya Cannon, Aine Ní Ghlinn, Catherine Dunne, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne , Mary O’Donnell,  Mary O’Malley,  Ruth Carr, Evelyn Conlon , Anne Devlin,   Ivy Bannister Sophia Hillan,  Medbh McGuckian, Mary Dorcey, Celia de Fréine,  Máiríde Woods, Liz McManus, Mary Rose Callaghan  and Phyl Herbert.

ISBN 9781851322510, €25, paperback, 354 pages, 500 colour images.

AVAILABLE FROM:
Books Upstairs, Dublin: https://booksupstairs.ie/product/look-its-a-woman-writer-irish-literary-feminisms-1970-2020/

Alan Hanna’s, Dublin: https://www.alanhannas.com/Look-Its-a-Woman-Writer-Irish-Literary-Feminisms-1970-2020_9781851322510

Book Depository (free worldwide postage): https://www.bookdepository.com/Look-Its-Woman-Writer-Medbh-McGuckian-Mary-OMalley-Mary-ODonnell-Catherine-Dunne-Moya-Cannon-Anne-Devlin-Evelyn-Conlon-Mary-Dorcey-Eilis-Ni-Dhuibhne-Martina-Devlin/9781851322510

 

Manchester Festival of Libraries UNESCO City of Lit Virtual Residency

Manchester Festival of Libraries together with Manchester City of Literature are offering two Virtual Writer Residencies which take place this June as part of the inaugural Festival of Libraries. During the three-week residency, writers will be hosted by one of Manchester’s historic libraries (Chetham’sThe PorticoJohn Rylands and Central) with the opportunity to explore their online collections and archives, meet librarians to find out more about Manchester’s literary heritage and collections, and enjoy virtual tours of the city.

During the residency, writers will share their experience of the city with Manchester’s literary community via social media, take part in other meetings and talks including sharing their work and their influences, and produce a new piece of writing responding to Manchester or links between the city and their own UNESCO City of Literature.

There is a fee of £1,500 for each residency and the commissions include producing a new short story, essay or series of poems. Applications are open until 10 May 2021 and the residencies are open to published writers with strong links to another UNESCO City of Literature.

For full details and how to apply: Click Here

City of Books Podcast Featuring John Banville

 

FADE TO BLACK – BANVILLE ON CRIME

John Banville, who has killed off his own Benjamin Black pen name, is disturbed by ever more explicit depictions of violence in popular culture.

He warns that people are constantly bombarded with graphic images – and it must impact on us. “There has to be more violence, more shock, more terror, says the Booker Prize-winning author.

“If I were a young woman now I’d be out protesting about these things. It can’t be good for young men to be watching these things.

“We go to the ultra-realistic crime series on television, all of which seem to start with a young woman being raped, murdered, chopped up and thrown in a garbage heap.

“I think we go to ultra-violent fiction and ultra-violent crime series on TV because we can experience violence safely – and yet we can say we didn’t flinch before the young woman being raped, murdered and eviscerated.”

Interviewed for the latest City of Books podcast, he tells host Martina Devlin: “I worry about this. This is not good for us. Give me the Agatha Christies, give me the old cowboy pictures where people die without even bleeding.”

Despite doing away with Black, Banville is continuing to write crime novels – described as literary noir – under his own name. He made the decision after listening to some on audio, deciding they were rather good, and it was time he took ownership of them.

He has written 17 novels, as well as short stories, essays and film scripts. His latest novel Snow, published by Faber and Faber, is set in a Big House in the 1950s and opens with the corpse of a priest found in the library.

More on Snow here

LISTEN HERE

 

Dublin City Council announces the 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award Shortlist

 

6 books on the shortlist of the 2021 Dublin Literary Award,

the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction

 

Shortlisted titles:

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

 Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

 Apeirogon by Colum McCann

 Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor

 On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong  

 The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

 

Thursday 25th March 2021: 6 novels have been shortlisted for the 2021 DUBLIN Literary Award, sponsored by Dublin City Council. Celebrating 26 years, this award is the world’s most valuable annual prize for a single work of fiction published in English, worth €100,000 to the winner. If the book has been translated the author receives €75,000 and the translator receives €25,000.  Distinctive among literary prizes, nominations are chosen by librarians and readers from a network of libraries around the world.

The 2021 Award winner will be chosen from a diverse and international shortlist which includes a novel in translation, an English language debut and a first-time novelist. The Shortlist features three women and three men who come from Ireland, Mexico, the UK and the USA.

The 26th winner of the Dublin Literary Award will be announced by its Patron, Lord Mayor Hazel Chu on Thursday 20th May, as part of the opening day programme of International Literature Festival Dublin (ILFDublin), which is also funded by Dublin City Council. Following their partnership with ILFDublin in August 2020, the DUBLIN Literary Award has moved the winner announcement permanently to May, to coincide with the festival.

 

The shortlisted titles are:

  1. Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (British). Published by Hamish Hamilton Ltd. and Penguin Books Ltd. Nominated by libraries in Berlin, Germany and Waterford, Ireland.
  2.  Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli (Mexican). Published by Alfred A. Knopf and 4th Estate. Nominated by Vila de Gràcia Library, Barcelona, Spain.
  3. Apeirogon by Colum McCann (Irish). Published by Bloomsbury Publishing. Nominated by South Dublin Libraries, Ireland.
  4. Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor (Mexican). Translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes. Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions. Nominated by libraries in Canada, Mexico, and the USA.
  5. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong  (Vietnamese-American). Published by Jonathan Cape and Vintage. Nominated by libraries in Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA.
  6. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (American). Published by Little Brown Book Group and Doubleday. Nominated by libraries in Belgium, and the USA.
     

Patron of the Award, Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu, praised the Award for breaking down barriers through literature by inviting readers around the world to read books translated from different languages, and cultures:

‘I am so excited about our Literary Award again this year. Literature time and again has one objective, and that is to explore the human condition, teaching us something new about others, and ourselves. These are powerful and timely stories set in both familiar and unfamiliar countries and cultures. I urge everyone to read as many of these thought-provoking books as you can. Readers have plenty of time to pick their own favourite between now and 20th May – Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu.

 

The novels on this year’s shortlist were nominated by public libraries in Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the USA, and the authors come from Ireland, Mexico, the UK and the USA.

 

The international panel of judges who will select the winner, features Jan Carson, a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast; David James Karashima, an author, translator, and associate professor of creative writing at Waseda University in Tokyo; Lebanese-born, Dr Rita Sakr who lectures in Postcolonial and Global Literatures at Maynooth University; Dr Martín Veiga, a Cork-based Galician poet, translator, and academic who lectures in Hispanic Studies at University College Cork, and Enda Wyley, an Irish poet, author, and teacher who has published six collections of poetry.

The non-voting Chairperson is Professor Chris Morash, the Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin.

 

Podcast Series

In the lead up to the winner announcement, and to enhance the reading experience of the Shortlist, the DUBLIN Literary Award website and social media channels will share 6 short films featuring well-known Irish actors performing short excerpts from the shortlisted novels. In association with their partner, International Literature Festival Dublin (ILFDublin), a special Shortlist podcast series has been commissioned which will be hosted by Maeve Higgins, bestselling Irish writer, comedian, podcaster and contributing writer for The New York Times, and Jessica Traynor, Irish writer, dramaturg and creative writing teacher.  Maeve Higgins and Jessica Traynor will take listeners inside the shortlisted novels and speak exclusively to the authors and translator in contention for the award.

 

During Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions, readers can borrow most of the shortlisted titles as eBooks and eAudiobooks on the free Borrowbox app, available to all public library users.

 

All the novels nominated for the Award, including the shortlisted books, will be available for readers to borrow from Dublin City Libraries and from public libraries around Ireland when Libraries reopen. The shortlist can be viewed on the Award website at www.dublinliteraryaward.ie.

 

Key Dates

The six member international judging panel, chaired by Prof. Chris Morash, will select one winner, which will be announced by the Patron of the Award, Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu on Thursday 20th May during the International Literature Festival Dublin (ILFDublin) which runs from the 20th to the 30th May 2021.

City of Books Podcast Featuring Neil Jordan

 

AN INSIDER’S ACCOUNT OF AN OUTSIDER LORD

Oscar-winning filmmaker Neil Jordan has managed to run parallel careers as a director and novelist, and his latest book is his most cinematic yet.

It’s an historical novel, The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small, about the true-life friendship between aristocrat turned 1798 revolutionary Lord Edward Fitzgerald and the runaway American slave who saved his life.

“I don’t know how I would have lived if I didn’t make movies and I also don’t know how I would have lived if I didn’t write books,” Neil tells Martina Devlin in the latest City of Books podcast. He says films feel like short stories to him, and he never stops writing – short stories, novels and film scripts.

His films range from The Crying Game to Michael Collins. On Hollywood, he says: “When I started directing movies I felt I was in a world of Neanderthals. I felt I had suddenly strayed into this world of these blundering dinosaurs.

“And I thought, what am I doing here, this strange little Irish guy? And they used to treat me that way as well, they’d almost treat you with amused contempt. It was kind of weird.”

Asked about Hollywood’s toxicity towards women, he says: “With the scandal of Harvey Weinstein, and all of the #MeToo exposés, it seems there’s been a level of behaviour in Hollywood that has been tolerated and rampant that I would associate with the Fifties.

“This kind of casting couch thing, which I thought was a joke when I was in Hollywood – it seems part of a far distant history – but it has continued.

“It is just an aggressive industry. It costs a lot of money it’s very male dominated, very white, very chauvinistic. I always hated that aspect of it, I never wanted to be part of it, never felt I was part of it. But then George Lucas would say the same.”

The difficulty has been in women gaining access to the director’s chair, he adds. “That seems to have been the big glass ceiling that is just now being cracked.”

The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small by Neil Jordan is published by Lilliput Press

https://www.lilliputpress.ie/product/the-ballad-of-lord-edward-and-citizen-small

For the City of Books interview click HERE, or look for City of Books on Spotify and Apple.

 

LISTEN HERE

One Dublin One Book Launches Full Programme of Free Online Public Events

Dublin City Council invites people all over the city to take part in the annual One Dublin One Book campaign by reading the same book during the month of April. This year’s chosen title for One Dublin One Book, is Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession (Bluemoose Books). 

Read first chapter here 

Dublin UNESCO City of Literature have put together a range of free online public events throughout the month of April which will see author Rónán Hession take part in public discussions, interviews and live webinars. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic these events will take place online. Writers Donal Ryan and Alex Barclay, actor Emmet Kirwan and musician Brigid Mae Power all feature in the programme. Rónán Hession will also perform music from his three albums released under the name Mumblin’ Deaf Ro and discuss his move from music to writing. RTÉ Radio 1’s Book on One is delighted to be opening its forthcoming new season of books read on radio with Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession produced by Clíodhna Ní Anluain.

Further details on these events are below and at this link www.onedublinonebook.ie/events

As part of One Dublin One Book, complimentary copies of the book will be distributed to health care workers via libraries in hospitals across Dublin, in a special initiative this year. 

Hundreds of copies of Leonard and Hungry Paul have been purchased by Dublin City Libraries and will be available to borrow from all public libraries nationwide, through the free BorrowBox library app, and in hardcopy when libraries re-open to the public. The book is also available to listen to in audio format through BorrowBox. The new One Dublin One Book edition of Leonard and Hungry Paul is available to buy from all good book shops. 

Videos of actor Johnny Ward reading extracts from the book will be released over the coming weeks. Watch the first one HERE

The programme was made possible thanks to funding by Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Speaking about the One Dublin One Book initiative, author Rónán Hession said:  “I am sincerely grateful and proud that Leonard and Hungry Paul has been chosen as this year’s One Dublin One Book. I would like to thank Dublin City Council for this great honour. I was born in Dublin and have lived and worked here all my life, so this means a lot to me. And of course, I have spent countless happy hours firing my imagination with the books I have borrowed from the wonderful libraries we have throughout Dublin. Leonard and Hungry Paul is a gentle book about two friends learning to engage with the world without becoming overwhelmed by it. I hope my fellow Dubliners find it a source of peace and enjoyment in the year ahead.”

Dublin City Librarian, Mairead Owens, added: “On behalf of Dublin City Libraries, I am delighted to have the opportunity of promoting this wonderful book by Rónán Hession.  It reminds us all that life is precious and that there are many challenges facing us as we negotiate daily life.  The book is uplifting and positive and gives comfort at this time.  The book is a treasure and will hopefully encourage many more readers to seek refuge and sustenance from reading.”

For details of all events go to:  www.onedublinonebook.ie