Thursday 8 December 2016

Top Irish Writers

Pat Fitzpatrick

Published 14/03/2016 | 02:30

Author of room Emma Donoghue.
Author of room Emma Donoghue.

As Liadan Hynes talks to author Cecelia Ahern, we take a look at modern Irish writers making a name for themselves

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1 EMMA DONOGHUE

The author of Room is described as Canadian-Irish. That could change with another bestseller (we're watching you, 'British author' Daily Telegraph). Room is the chilling story of a mother and child living in a tiny, enclosed space. It is reported to have been inspired by the Josef Fritzl case. Or maybe she knew someone who rented one of those new apartments in Dublin, circa 1991. There wasn't enough room to swing a culchie. Not that it stopped anyone trying after a few pints. Good times.

2 COLUM MCCANN

Colum writes literary fiction. Or, as it's more commonly known, a genre you've pretended to read in order to avoid embarrassment. "Oh really, and what happened in this book you say you read?" "Absolutely nothing." "Actually, that sounds about right." Colum lives in New York now. That's the right place for him, because we all know the city is full of artists and intellectuals. All you have to do get their attention is raise your hand. And they'll stop their taxi.

3 LOUISE O'NEILL

She has had two critical successes and worked in a fashion magazine in New York, all before she was 30. In any other industry, this would lead to envy and bitterness, but writers and creatives are known for their lack of bitchiness (you might want to check that). This might have gone to another person's head, but of course Louise is from Cork, where they are known for their modesty (you might want to check that while you're at it).

4 PAUL MURRAY

His darkly comic novel, Skippy Dies, outlined some buffoonish carry-on in a privileged boarding school. David Cameron actually listed it as a holiday read. He probably wanted to see if he was in it. Paul's follow up, The Mark and the Void, is set in the crazy world of Dublin's financial-services sector. It's a look at all the boom-time madness that went on down in the IFSC, before we came to our senses and turned it into a sanctuary for sick puppies. #Didn'thappen

5 KEVIN BARRY

Kevin's novel, Beatlebone, tells the story of John Lennon arriving on an island off the Mayo coast for a course of primal-scream therapy. And you thought he couldn't write romantic comedy! The book won the prestigious Goldsmiths Prize, awarded to an author who pushes the boundaries of the novel form. We'd like to propose an award for the Goldsmiths' Judging Panel. Because someone has to read those books. And it's so cool that it's not us.

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