To Garth Greenwell, the huge international success of his debut What Belongs to You, “was the biggest surprise of my life”, and he feels “immensely lucky” as “the success of a book has as much to do with chance as anything else”. Its success has allowed him to have a career as a writer and teacher in a way he wasn’t able to in his previous 20 years of writing. He feels relieved, though, that the writing process itself, “the struggle”, just him alone with his notebook and “the pit of doubt and despair”, hasn’t changed. “I wouldn’t know who I would be without it.”
You can read my interview with him about his new novel, Cleanness, in The Irish Times.
‘Booker Prize-winning novelist Anne Enright is one of the most celebrated writers working in Ireland today. Her work is part of a great tradition of Irish writing that explores themes of family life, relationships, love, repression and memory.
Enright won the 2007 Booker Prize for her novel The Gathering, a story about the pull of family and the lure of home. Her first novel was The Wig My Father Wore and subsequent works have included What Are You Like?, The Forgotten Waltz and her most recent The Green Road. Her awards also include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Encore Award and the Irish Novel of the Year.
From 2015 to 2018 she was the inaugural Laureate for Irish Fiction and we are delighted to welcome her to The Helicon where she will talk about her work and career with Paul McVeigh.’
at Crescent Arts Centre Cube, 2-4 University Road, Belfast , BT7 1NH
I’ll be interviewing the wonderful Sarah Perry in Belfast in November. I read with Sarah a few years back at a festival in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland. Here’s what Waterstones said…
“We are thrilled to welcome Sarah Perry, the author of 2016’s Waterstones Book of the YearThe Essex Serpent, to Belfast in conversation with Paul McVeigh to discuss her new novel Melmoth.
Sarah Perry is the UK’s most extraordinary writer of Gothic literature. She has a PhD in Creative Writing from Royal Holloway. She has been the writer in residence at Gladstone’s Library and the UNESCO World City of Literature Writer in Residence in Prague. After Me Comes the Flood, her first novel, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Folio Prize, and won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award in 2014. Her latest novel, The Essex Serpent, was a number one bestseller in hardback, Waterstones Book of the Year 2016, the British Book Awards Book of the Year 2017, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award and Dylan Thomas Award, and longlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017.
Melmoth is a profound, ambitiously realised work of fiction which asks fundamental questions about guilt, forgiveness, moral reckoning and how we come to terms with our actions in a conflicted world. A compulsive, terrifying and thoroughly modern Gothic novel, and a response to the Irish Gothic classic Melmoth the Wanderer.
Chris Power lives and works in London. His ‘Brief Survey of the Short Story’ has appeared in the Guardian since 2007. His fiction has been published in The Stinging Fly, The Dublin Review and The White Review. Mothers is his first book.
The Good Son, Paul McVeigh’s debut novel, won The Polari Prize and The McCrea Literary Award. It was shortlisted for The Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award, the Prix du Roman Cezam in France and a finalist for The People’s Book Prize. The Good Sonwas chosen as Brighton’s City Reads 2016 and was given out as part of World Book Night 2017. Paul has written comedy, essays, flash fiction, a novel, plays and short stories, and his work has been performed on stage and radio, and published in seven languages.
“When I arrive at Kit de Waal’s she’s in her writing cabin in the back garden of her house in Leamington. De Waal gets a kick out of using the no-frills Leamington while the locals insist on its full title:Royal Leamington Spa. No surprise, really, as though outwardly seeming to have fallen far from the tree in this wealthy, white, middle-England town, this author holds tightly to her roots; Brummie, Irish, West Indian and working class.”
I was lucky enough to interview George Saunders a couple of years ago. It was an amazing experience and a real ‘moment’ in my writing career.
George Saunders (c) Paul McVeigh
Recently I got to sit on a panel with for BBC Radio 3 thanks to New Writing North & Word Factory. We talked about the short story and read some of our work.
George was up for another chat and interview that day which we did thanks to Bloomsbury Books. You can read it over at The Irish Times where George talks about his debut novel, writing, Trump and his wife’s upcoming novel. I hope you enjoy it.