Thursday 22 March 2018

My cultural life: Susan Stairs

Susan Stairs
Susan Stairs
The Post
Dolores O'Riordan
The Lost Girl

Susan Stairs is a novelist and short story writer. Having worked in the art business for many years, she completed an MA in Creative Writing at UCD in 2009 and her first novel The Story of Before was published in 2013. She was shortlisted for the Davy Byrnes Irish Writing Award and is a contributor to The Long Gaze Back which is the chosen One City One Book for Dublin 2018. She has twice been awarded a bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland and her third novel One Good Reason has just been published by Hachette Books Ireland. She lives in Dublin.

Film: The Post

The Post

I go to the cinema a lot, often twice a week. Of the recent crop, the one I've enjoyed most is The Post (starring Meryl Streep, above), which surprised me a little as I didn't think it'd be my cup of tea. What I really loved - apart from the superb acting - was the attention to period detail. The costumes, the street scenes, the interiors - everything was absolutely spot-on for the early 1970s. Spielberg definitely got this one right.

Design: American Embassy, London

I was in London recently and in the taxi from the airport we passed a striking new building not far from Battersea Power Station. I've since learned that it's the new American Embassy and - like all innovative design - is not without its critics, including President Trump. It certainly made an impression on me. It's classic yet futuristic and definitely memorable.

Band: The Cranberries

Dolores O'Riordan

I've always loved The Cranberries. We had their CDs in the car and I have very happy memories of listening to them years ago while driving to and from the beach on family holidays. It was so shocking and sad to learn of the death of Dolores O'Riordan (above). She was authentic, spirited and so genuinely talented. Her music will live on but we have lost someone truly special.

TV: Million Dollar Listing New York

I love a good property programme. My absolute favourite is Million Dollar Listing New York which I can only access online now. Everything in it is so over the top: the amazing properties with staggering views and eye-watering prices; the massive commissions earned by the real estate brokers; and the brokers themselves. Highly entertaining and completely addictive.

Book: The Last Lost Girl

The Lost Girl

So many to choose from! I've decided to pick the one I'm currently reading and really enjoying, which is The Last Lost Girl, the debut novel from Irish writer Maria Hoey. It tells the story of the disappearance of 15-year-old Lilly Brennan in the long hot summer of 1976 and the attempts by her sister Jacqueline, 37 years later, to find out what really happened. Maria's characters are superbly drawn - I feel I know them personally. Already looking forward to Maria's next one.

One Good Reason has just been published by Hachette Books Ireland

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