Sunday 22 October 2017

Literary Diary

Claire Messud, who appeared at Dun Laoghaire LexIcon on September 22
Claire Messud, who appeared at Dun Laoghaire LexIcon on September 22
Madeleine Keane

Madeleine Keane

It was a great privilege to spend Culture Night listening to that fine contemporary American novelist, Claire Messud, expound on life and literature at dlr LexIcon. Messud, who gave us The Emperor’s Children, The Woman Upstairs and recently The Burning Girl, was interviewed as part of the excellent Library Voices series run in Dun Laoghaire.

Watch out for more fascinating figures from the world of books appearing there imminently: Bernard MacLaverty will talk about his life and work on October 11 while Jennifer Egan (A Visit From The Goon Squad) will be in conversation with Sinead Gleeson in November. I was also delighted to hear that Gleeson, (her deeply moving essay in the latest edition of Granta magazine about her late aunt Terry is a must read) has been selected as 2018’s Dublin: One City, One Book for her superb anthology of Irish women’s writing The Long Gaze Back.

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I’ll be interviewing writers Martina Devlin (Ship of Dreams, About Sisterland, Banksters) and award-winning Chilean novelist Lina Meruane next weekend as part of the Irish Spanish Latin American Festival. ISLA takes the future as its theme for this year and an international array of scholars, authors, critics, translators and thinkers will discuss where the world is going in terms of writing, science, technology, medicine and finance. From October 5-7 at the Instituto Cervantes in Lincoln Place and admission is free. For the full programme, visit www.dublin.cervantes.es

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I came late to Line of Duty but was totally gripped from the get-go. So it’s exciting to hear the creator of the brilliant BBC drama, Jed Mercurio, will be in Belfast alongside the series’ lead Adrian Dunbar as part of an exciting new crime-writing festival. NOIReland is taking place at Belfast’s Europa Hotel and the organisers have collated a super line-up of creators of murder and mayhem. Our own Benjamin Black, Adrian McKinty, Liz Nugent and Game of Thrones actor Aidan Gillen will join Arne Dahl, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Robert Crais and Sophie Hannah to discuss death and dastardly deeds. Scheduled from October 27-29, more details are available at www.noireland.com

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