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My cultural life: Writer Liz Nugent

 

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Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent

Perfume

Perfume

Art by Anne McManus

Art by Anne McManus

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Liz Nugent

Liz Nugent is the writer of four novels of psychological suspense: Unravelling Oliver, Lying in Wait, Skin Deep and Our Little Cruelties. She has won four Irish Book Awards, been named Irish Woman of the Year in Literature and has travelled the world on book tours or 'research'. Our Little Cruelties has been nominated for Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards this year. Liz wishes she were Sebastian Barry, Marian Keyes, Donal Ryan or Anne Enright because they're all sounders.

Film: Perfume

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Perfume

Perfume

Perfume

 

Perfume, the story of a murderer adapted from the book by Patrick Suskind, is my all-time favourite film. It delves into the motives, childhood and background of a young murderer in pre-revolutionary France. The film's design is utterly stunning - every frame could almost be a Caravaggio painting. Last year, I tracked down a contact for the film's producer, Tom Tykwer, and sent him a copy of my third novel, Skin Deep, because I think he'd do such a good job of turning it into a film. The silence has been deafening. I'm sure he just hasn't got around to reading it yet…

Music: Emma Langford's Sowing Acorns

I have been listening to Emma Langford's new album, Sowing Acorns, on repeat since it was released last month. I am very old-school (old), so I bought it on CD through her bandcamp site. I knew nothing about her until I met her at an artists' retreat (the Tyrone Guthrie Centre) and I was kind of intrigued by this smart, little pixie girl. But then when I later checked out her music, I was blown away and pre-ordered the album on the spot. It was really worth waiting for. No two songs are the same. Her range and diversity of styles are a total surprise. I feel lucky I met her for realz, as the young people say.

Art: Anne McManus

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Art by Anne McManus

Art by Anne McManus

Art by Anne McManus

 

I am a huge fan of the artwork of Dalkey painter Anne McManus. In some ways, I'm glad she's so terrible at selling herself because I feel like I'm one of the exclusive few who have seen and bought her work. Four of her large pieces hang on my walls and they 'spark joy' every day. I met her when she came to a book event and we quickly became friends. One day, she casually asked if I wanted to see some paintings in her shed. It was like stepping into Aladdin's cave. I wanted all of them. The work that goes into each piece is painstaking. She also sells smaller prints, and you can find her on Instagram @heartlovesart.

Book: Highfire by Eoin Colfer

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I guess the book that I really got such a kick out of this year was Highfire by Eoin Colfer. (I recommend listening to it on audio if you can - the actor is incredible.) It's written for adults… I really didn't think I was the type who would enjoy a book about dragons, but Colfer catapulted me out of my comfort zone and took me on a wild ride. This dragon loves Flashdance and Jack Daniels and has strong opinions on the representation of dragons in Game of Thrones. He also believes he is the last of his species and is willing to live out his days on the Louisiana bayou until trouble arrives. So much fun.

Liz Nugent will be part of a panel discussion at The Murder One Festival celebrating the Irish crime-writing scene, alongside Jane Casey and Andrea Carter as part of the Dublin Book Festival, Thursday, December 3, 8pm. Watch online. Free, but register for tickets at dublinbookfestival.com


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