Writing History: Dublin Book Festival, Nov 11

Join us as we take a step back in time for an evening of conversation in the beautiful surrounds of the Reading Room in the National Library of Ireland. Writer and playwright Paul McVeigh will be in conversation with three contemporary writers bringing history to life with their most recent novels. Edith (The Lilliput Press) by Martina Devlin is a captivating and insightful novel based on the life of Edith Somerville, a writer struggling to keep her art and spirit alive in the turbulence of 1920s Ireland. The Other Guinness Girl (Hachette) by Emily Hourican is the latest in a fascinating and deeply researched series of books about the glamorous world of the women in the famous Guinness family; a story of love, friendship and ambition set in the turbulent years preceding WWII. A Quiet Tide (New Island) by Marianne Lee is a beautifully crafted fictionalised account of the life of Ellen Hutchins, Ireland’s first female botanist, illuminating her passion and determination in the face of the many obstacles she faced.

Martina Devlin

Martina Devlin has written 11 books and two plays and is an award-winning journalist. She has won a VS Pritchett Prize from the Royal Society of Literature and a Hennessy Literary Award. Martina presents the City of Books podcast for Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and is the first holder of a PhD in literary practice from Trinity College Dublin where she has taught Irish literature.

Emily Hourican

Emily Hourican is a journalist and author. She has written features for the Sunday Independent for fifteen years, as well as Image magazine, Condé Nast Traveler and Woman and Home. She was also editor of The Dubliner Magazine. Emily’s first book, a memoir titled How To (Really) Be A Mother was published in 2013. She is also the author of novels The Privileged, White Villa, The Outsider and The Blamed, as well as two bestselling novels about the Guinness sisters: The Glorious Guinness Girls and The Guinness Girls: A Hint of Scandal. She lives in Dublin with her family.

Marianne Lee

Marianne Lee grew up in Tullamore, Co. Offaly and now lives in Dublin with her husband and two cats. She has a degree in Visual Communications from the National College of Art and Design and an MPhil in Creative Writing from Trinity College Dublin. She works as a designer and copywriter. Her debut novel, A Quiet Tide, a fictionalised account of the life of Ellen Hutchins, Ireland’s first female botanist was shortlisted for the 2021 Kate O’Brien Award, featured on RTÉ Radio One Book on One in spring 2022. Marianne is currently adapting A Quiet Tide for the screen and working on her second novel. @ThisMarianneLee www.mariannelee.ie

Paul McVeigh

Paul’s debut novel, The Good Son, won The Polari First Novel Prize, The McCrea Literary Award and was shortlisted for many others including the Prix de Roman Cezam. His short stories have appeared in The Art of the Glimpse and Being Various, as well as, on BBC Radio 3, 4 & 5, and Sky Arts. His writing has been translated into seven languages.

4 thoughts on “Writing History: Dublin Book Festival, Nov 11

  1. Hi Paul, looking forward to the event. Can I ask for your advice? How can I get my historical dublin and irish novel Dolly Considine’s Hotel discussed at this or similar levels?
    Looking forward to seeing you at the event.


    • I can’t say I can answer that definitively. In this case you have two hugely succesful authors and one newer author whose book has made a splash. I assume that’s how they come to be at that event. You could try to getting a pack together (burb, reviews, sample or whole book) and sending to all the festivals?


      • Thanks Paul, Generating traction is difficult for authors unsupported by their publisher, or who isn’t part of a literary world, or well known in some other field. I am very impressed with how well respected you are, and your involvement with LGBTQ+, working class, and Irish communities. Hopefully you will keep me in mind for inclusion in some future event or pass my name on to organisers who might ask for your help in identifying a suitable participants in an event. https://www.eamonsomers.com/


      • Yes, I know that Eamon. I have worked hard and donated many many hours of time to those communities over a number of projects and that engenders support from others and places you in a position to be asked to participate in events. Something to think about – things you feel passionate about and communities you could work this. It took years of work like that and it definitely played a huge part in my career. I don’t (or rarely) programme events I am hired and the organisers chose authors that will get bums on seats as their festivals are dependent on sales etc. But I wish you the best of luck as always, and I feel your frustration as it’s a hard industry to crack and stay relevant in. All Best


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