The 32 is launched on the Unbound site. The Bookseller covered the launch here.
Please pledge to read 16 new pieces of work from the best writers in the country and help 16 new writers from working class backgrounds at the same time!
In a recent documentary on BBC Radio 4, novelist Kit de Waal asked ‘where are the working class writers?’ The answer is ‘right here’ in The 32.
Inspired by a shared concern that working class voices are increasingly absent from the pages of books and newspapers, Kit de Waal came together with publishers Unbound to create the hugely successful Common People anthology.
The Observer recently described Kit de Waal’s My Name Is Leon and my novel The Good Son as the ‘exceptional working-class novels from the last few years’ so it seems apt that Kit passes the baton to me to edit The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Voices.
Like Common People, The 32 will be a collection of essays and memoir, bringing together sixteen well-known writers from working class backgrounds with an equal number of new and emerging writers from all over the island of Ireland.
These new writers will be selected by an open call and we are working with the Cork World Book Festival, Irish Writers Centre, Munster Literature Centre, and Words Ireland to provide additional support.
Too often, working class writers find that the hurdles they have to leap are higher and harder to cross than for writers from more affluent backgrounds. The 32 will see writers who have made that leap reach back to give a helping hand to those coming up behind.
We read because we want to experience lives and emotions beyond our own, to learn, to see with others’ eyes – without new working class voices, without the vital reflection of real lives, or role models for working class readers and writers, literature will be poorer. We will all be poorer. Pledge for The 32 and join these writers to help to make a difference.
Contributors So Far Include:
Melatu Uche Okorie
Senator Lynne Ruane
Dr Michael Pierse
Please pledge if you can!
Me and Kit in Morges