Monday 21 October 2019

Literary diary: Madeleine Keane

The International Literature Festival Dublin is on soon
The International Literature Festival Dublin is on soon

Madeleine Keane

"Life is both fleeting and dangerous, and there is no point in denying yourself pleasure, or being anything other than what you are." I'm with Elizabeth Gilbert on this. The New York Times' bestselling writer is in town soon for a special event with the International Literature Festival Dublin. Author of Eat, Pray, Love, Gilbert has a new novel: City Of Girls is, I'm told, a delicious story of glamour, sex and self-discovery, in which a young woman learns that you don't have to be a good girl to be a good person, which is great news for bold girls everywhere. Elizabeth will be in conversation with writer and critic Anna Carey in Belvedere College on June 25 at 7pm. Tickets from

Ever since I read An Unquiet Mind, Kay Redfield Jamison's stunning memoir of her battle with bipolar disorder, I've been fascinated by the American psychologist. She'll be in Kerry next weekend for the Amergin Solstice Poetry Gathering. Founded last year by Jane Clare in memory of her husband, the late Anthony Clare, this festival has mental well-being and poetry at its heart. Jamison, who recently published an acclaimed biography of Robert Lowell, will be joined by Olivia O'Leary, Eilean Ni Chuilleanain, Niall MacMonagle and others for readings, field trips and talks, in beautiful Waterville from June 20-23. Bookings at

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Nature and writing will be celebrated in Wicklow's gorgeous Glencree Valley the same weekend. Paul Durcan, Carlo Gebler and Alan Gilsenan are just some of the names lined up for the inaugural Shaking Bog Festival.

Expect words, workshops, bird-watching, dancing by the fire and more besides. For details and tickets, go to

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