Award-winning journalist Martina Devlin returns to bookshelves with new novel 'About Sisterland'
Published 09/09/2015 | 23:01
Award-winning journalist and columnist Martina Devlin is returning to bookshelves with a new dystopian novel.
'About Sisterland' is Ms Devlin’s ninth published book, and focuses on a futuristic society where women hold all power and men are subordinates.
The novel follows the story of Constance, who is selected to reproduce by the rulers of Sisterland. During that process, she meets a man for the first time and begins to question her stifled life under the regime.
Ms Devlin said she drew on her own upbringing in Northern Ireland while writing the novel.
“I grew up in a society where people were really kept apart – Catholics and Protestants in this case,” she said.
“I was struck by how extremism has a chance to put down roots – when two sides don’t get to know each other as human beings.”
She added that the work also highlighted a need for tolerance rather than totalitarianism.
“I suppose what I think is the human spirit has an innate capacity to overcome taught ideas about who you should love and how you should live, and just to put common humanity first.”
“We saw that with the same sex marriage referendum, for example.”
Newstalk presenter Sean Moncrieff launched 'About Sisterland' at the Irish Writer’s centre, and said the book showed how extremism often starts with the best of intentions.
“I have a suspicion that it’s one of those books that people will have endless debates about – what they found in it, and how they interpreted it,” he added.