Monday 25 September 2017

Dalkey Book Festival in homage to Maeve

Joyce Fegan

Joyce Fegan

To a quaint village by the sea, just south of Dublin, come a Pulitzer prize- winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author and two winners of the Man Booker Prize, all at the one time and all for the one reason – the Dalkey Book Festival, from June 14 to 16. The fourth of this small village's book festivals, it has a line-up of luminaries which is outstanding.

The quality and calibre of this year's stellar programme of events is, in itself, a homage to the village's literary treasure and one of the festival's most avid supporters, the late Maeve Binchy; it opens with an ode to the celebrated and much-loved author.

Kicking off events this Friday is the Maeve Binchy Tale Trail at 3pm, which is a photographic response to her work, and at 7pm Roddy Doyle and Declan Kiberd join each other in conversation in Remembering Maeve. Once the scene has been set with tributes to the late writer, the event bolts into full swing with seven-times International Journalist of the Year Robert Fisk talking to Pat Kenny. Fisk, who interviewed Osama Bin Laden on three occasions, will be discussing Syria and the state of the Middle East with the RTE broadcaster. This talk runs from 9pm until 10pm in the Church of the Assumption and tickets cost €12.

Saturday brings the likes of Irish literary dame Edna O'Brien, Man Booker Prize winner Anne Enright, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas author John Boyne and hit crime drama Love/Hate's writer Stuart Carolan to town. Edna looks back at a legendary life that saw her depart rural Ireland for cosmopolitan London, where she palled around with folks like Marlon Brando and Paul McCartney. Edna talks at the Town Hall at lunchtime and tickets are priced at €12.

When the sun rises in the old fishing village on Sunday, get ready for more of the same pace and action with New York Times best-selling writer Eoin Colfer dropping by for chats and the Sunday Independent's literary editor, Madeleine Keane, talking to Selina Guinness about Selina's memoir The Crocodile by the Door, where she saved her inherited family home from the developers. The festival is wrapped up by renowned Watergate journalist and Pulitzer prize-winner Carl Bernstein. He talks to David McWilliams at 8.30pm about Nixon, Obama and Hillary Clinton.

If you're attending any of the events and your accomplice isn't of literary persuasion, there's little need to worry as there's plenty going on to keep all entertained.

You can watch a Lions' rugby game with Brent Pope, Tom McGurk, Tony Ward and Hugo MacNeill on Saturday morning, there's jazz music in the Tramyard at various times and then there are free furniture up-cycling workshops throughout the weekend with Upside Designs. If there's one place to be next weekend, it's probably Dalkey, Co Dublin.

For a full list of events, times, locations (which include a graveyard and the local Masonic Hall), prices and tickets, see the festival's website: www.dalkeybook festival.org

Dalkey Book Festival takes place from June 14-16

www.dalkeybookfestival.org

Irish Independent

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