A Taster of the ‘Queer Love’ Event on Saturday 12 June 8pm
This week’s Culture Cafe on BBC Radio Ulster gathers some of the guests at the Belfast Book Festival 2021.
Including Colm Tóibín and me on being part of the literary road map for Irish LGBTQ+ writers and readers starting around 4.40 mins in. The full event takes place this Saturday – you can buy tickets here.
“Ireland is more than one voice and in Queer Love, edited by Paul McVeigh, we see more than one Ireland. Love is a beautiful thing—especially in the hands of familiar writers like John Boyne, Emma Donoghue and Colm Tóbín—but in this anthology of short stories are new writers and new voices; it’s this combination which lends the collection its charm. Paul McVeigh steers the collection through our history, from a time of secrecy to the new freedoms of growing up gay in an era of the Yes vote.”
Delighted with this review in Books Ireland and you can it read it in full here.
You can buy the book here.
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.
A collection of Irish authors have responded to Brexit in the Irish Times today. Mine begins…
“One positive thing for Northern Ireland is that Brexit has actually made it visible. Mostly it feels like a little desert island and we jump up and down trying to get the attention of passing aircraft.”
“…the whole damn place needs a gaying up!”
Head over the read the full text and the rest of the responses.
“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.”
Bailey’s Prize-winner Lisa McInerney
“A triumph of storytelling. An absolute gem.”