Sunday 17 December 2017

Satisfy your hunger for great books, food and conversation

Franco-Irish Literary Festival will go to town on our cities, writes Andrea Byrne

Andrea Byrne

We're used to France appealing to our gastronomic senses, but the Franco-Irish Literary Festival, which takes place next month, will provide food for the mind.

A very important weekend in the literary calendar, the festival is now in its 11th year. It is the product of a successful partnership between the Alliance Francaise and the Cultural Service of the French Embassy.

Given that this year's festival coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Alliance Francaise, we can expect even bigger celebrations.

Recent football incidents aside, Ireland and France have a long-standing friendship, with both countries boasting an impressive calibre of literary exports. The festival -- which takes place from April 16 to 18, in two locations: the Coach House in Dublin Castle and the Alliance Francaise -- welcomes writers in the English and Irish languages, together with writers of the wider francophone world and other European countries.

Internationals heavyweights such as Francois Bon, Benoit Peeters and Catherine Mavrikakis will join some of our finest indigenous writers, among them Claire Kilroy, Pat Boran and Eilis Ni Dhuibhne in what promises to be an wonderful meeting of minds. These successful authors will be on hand to offer advice, too, for any budding writers.

This year's theme asks the participating writers to examine why the subject of the city is used increasingly in literature. How can our modern day metropolis be illustrated? Is the city a source of realistic or utopian ambition? And, looking to the future, how can we imagine the suburbs of tomorrow?

His Excellency Monsieur Yvon Roe D'Albert, the French ambassador to Ireland, will open the festival on the Friday. What will follow is three days of exciting interviews, panel discussions, readings, lectures, book signings and cafes litteraires.

Admission is free, and simultaneous translation in French and English is provided at all events.

The festival will come to an end on Sunday with a literary brunch. Good food, brilliant books and great conversation -- what more could anyone want?

For more information, visit www.francoirishliterary

Sunday Independent

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