Join three of Northern Ireland’s most exciting writers as they read from and speak about their work.Blue is the Night by Eoin McNamee. 1949. Lance Curran is set to prosecute a young man for a brutal murder in the ‘Robert the Painter’ case, one which threatens to tear society apart. In the searing July heat, corruption and justice vie as Harry Ferguson, Curran’s fixer, contemplates the souls of men adrift, and his own fall from grace with the beautiful and wilful Patricia. Within three years, Curran will be a judge, his nineteen-year-old daughter dead, at the hands of a still unknown murderer, and his wife Doris condemned to an asylum for the rest of her days.
In Blue Is the Night, it is Doris who finally emerges from the fog of deceit and blame to cast new light into the murder of her daughter – as McNamee once again explores and dramatizes a notorious and nefarious case.
‘Blue is the Night completes McNamee’s magnificent ‘Blue Trilogy’ – establishing it as one of the very finest series of crime novels ever written – and yet, at the same time, this final novel both illuminates and transcends the previous two to stand alone alongside books as great as The Glass Key and Shutter Island as that rarest of things: a genuine, original masterpiece’. – David Peace
‘McNamee’s prose is one of the glories of contemporary fiction. Blue is the Night is the best book yet from one of Ireland’s most alert and gifted writers’. – Liam McIlvanney
‘There is no one to match Eoin McNamee for the clean, clear, resonant sentence structure he has perfected. He is a unique writer… his subject, the inescapable complicity of people in the leak of evil in the world.’ – Sebastian Barry
‘If McNamee’s subject matter is dark and ugly his writing style in stark contrast is lyrical, full of finely wrought passages and memorable turns of phrase, punctuated by staccato sentences. McNamee has delivered another masterpiece of provincial Gothic and the ‘dark grammar’ of murder.’ – The Irish Times
Eoin McNamee was born in Kilkeel, Co Down in 1961. His novels include Resurrection Man, later made into a film, The Blue Tango, which was nominated for the Booker Prize, and Orchid Blue, described by John Burnside in The Guardian as ‘not only a political novel of the highest order but also that rare phenomenon, a genuinely tragic work of art’. The third part of the Blue Trilogy, Blue Is the Night, was published in 2014 and was the 2015 Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year. His new novel, The Vogue, will be published by Faber and Faber in 2017.
The Good Son by Paul McVeigh. Mickey Donnelly is smart, which isn’t a good thing in his part of town. Despite having a dog called Killer and being in love with the girl next door, everyone calls him ‘gay’. It doesn’t help that his best friend is his little sister, Wee Maggie, and that everyone knows he loves his Ma more than anything in the world. He doesn’t think much of his older brother Paddy and really doesn’t like his Da. He dreams of going to America, taking Wee Maggie and Ma with him, to get them away from Belfast and Da. Mickey realises it’s all down to him. He has to protect Ma from herself. And sometimes, you have to be a bad boy to be a good son.
‘The Good Son is a work of genius from a splendid writer.’ — Robert Olen Butler
‘Blackly hilarious (with) one of the most endearing and charming characters I’ve come across in a long time.’ — ELLE Magazine Best of 2015
‘Mickey Donnelly stole my heart. You’ll fall in love with Mickey, he’s one of the loveliest characters you could meet. It’s an excellent debut. It’s a great story, he’s a great writer.’ — Edel Coffey on RTE Arena
‘Funny, heartbreaking, and an insightful look at The Troubles in Northern Ireland, I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed it immensely.’ — Louise O’Neill
Born in Belfast, Paul McVeigh began his career as a playwright before moving to London where he wrote comedy shows, which were performed at the Edinburgh Festival and in London’s West End. His short stories have been published in literary journals and anthologies, read on BBC Radio 5 and commissioned by BBC Radio 4. He is the Co-Founder of London Short Story Festival, of which, he was the Director and Curator for 2014 and 2015. He is Associate Director at Word Factory, the UK’s premier short story salon. The Good Son is his first novel and was shortlisted for The Guardian’s ‘Not The Booker’ Prize and chosen for Brighton’s City Read 2016. He received The McCrea Literary Award in 2015. Paul’s blog for writers which posts on submission opportunities for journals and competitions gets 40,000 hits a month and has had over a 1 million visitors.
Gull by Glenn Patterson. Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles: John DeLorean, a maverick American entrepreneur and consummate conman, establishes a factory in Belfast to make a luxury sports car with gull-wing doors.
Huge subsidies were provided by the British government. The car, which would become one of the world’s most iconic (thanks to a starring role in Back to the Future), first rolled off the production line during the appalling hunger strikes of 1981.
This strange episode, riven with fraud, terrorism – and some comedy – is brought to life through the eyes of DeLorean’s fixer in Belfast, a traumatised Vietnam war veteran, and of a woman who takes a job in the factory against her husband’s wishes. Each of them has secrets and desires they dare not share with anyone they know. A great American hustler brought to vivid life in the most unlikely setting imaginable.
‘One of the best contemporary Irish novelists… Glenn Patterson has become the most serious and humane chronicler of Northern Ireland over the past thirty years.’ – Colm Tóibín
‘If anyone can tell the curious DeLorean story in Northern Ireland it’s Patterson, who has been deftly weaving the country’s social history into novels and screenplays for some time now.’ – The Observer
‘A delightful novel … A fluent narrative that unfolds with wit, charm and stranger-than-fiction twists.’ – Daily Mail
Glenn Patterson is the author of ten novels, a memoir and two collections of articles and essays for, among others, the Guardian, Observer, Sunday Times, Independent and Irish Times. His plays and stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, and with co-writer Colin Carberry he was nominated for a BAFTA for the film Good Vibrations. His latest novel Gull was published in January 2016. Glenn lives in Belfast.
Paul’s photo is by Roelof Bakker
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