Ireland: A literary Invitation

I’ve edited a new anthology for my German publisher, Verlag Wagenbach. It’s called ‘Ireland/Irland: A Literary Invitation‘ and it is an anthology of short works (and a little poetry) from all over Ireland – acting like a fictional travel guide. There’s new work from Darran Anderson, Jan Carson and Riley Johnston, with new and classic stories and book extracts from Kevin Barry, Evelyn Conlon, Rob Doyle, Liam O’Flaherty, Dave Lordan, Frank O’Connor, Eilis Ní Dhuibhne, Kerri Ní Dochartaigh, and a bit from The Good Son (they are my publishers, they insisted!).

There’s been a wonderful review in the German Newspaper ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’.

Irland. Eine literarische Einladung

“…this book prepares you better for a visit to Ireland – including Northern Ireland – than most travel guides can. Because at its core it is always about attitudes on the island, about the wounds of division, the consequences of Brexit, about the effects of economic upswings and declines of recent times. It is about attachment to one’s homeland against the background of a desertification of rural areas, which one may find picturesque as a tourist. In the stories, current attitudes to life meet and create friction. Reflects the everyday life of the people – and what Ireland and Northern Ireland stand for today.” Irland. Eine literarische Einladung published by Verlag Klaus Wagenbach

German TV for ‘Wee Muckers’

I’ve written the introduction to Toby Binder’s wonderful photo book ‘Wee Muckers’ which is launched in Munich tonight! The book is a series of photographs of working class youths in Belfast.


German TV, Das Erste 1, flew over to do an interview with me and I took them around Ardoyne, where I grew up and where The Good Son is set.


You can watch the TV segment here (in German). You can buy Guter Junge (German translation) or The Good Son in English here.



Writing Gender – Sexuality, Feminism and Masculinity


Registration is now open for the 33rd British Council Literature Seminar. Professor Bernardine Evaristo MBE will chair the seminar which this year will focus will be on gender diversity in contemporary UK writing.

Authors include: Juno Dawson, Kerry Hudson, Sabrina Mahfouz, Nick Makoha , Monique Roffey and me!

I hope to see some of you there.

More info…

#BritLitBerlin 2018 – in Bernardine Evaristo’s words…

“The 2018 seminar will be an exploration of some of the ways in which British writers are exploring gender and sexuality in the twenty-first century. We will look at the current conversations around gender identity that have been gaining ground in the mainstream recently, including the challenge to the social construction of gender binaries. As the spectrum and categories of transgender identities and LGBTQ+ sexualities continue to revolutionise how we define ourselves as humans, we will examine how this is being played out in literature. At the same time feminism has recently enjoyed a rebirth and gone mainstream. The post-feminist era is over and young women, in particular, are taking ownership of Fourth Wave Feminism, a shift as individualised as each proponent. We will ask how this is being addressed by writers of fiction and poetry, whose work appears to subscribe to a range of feminist ideas or ideals. We will ask how we can create literature that is complex and nuanced, while also being consciously political. As notions of masculinity and femininity are called into question, subverted, rejected and expanded, we will examine the decisions we make that informs our literature in this regard. Who and what do we write about? What fictional characters do we create, and why? What are the self-imposed limits that determine whether or how we write across gender and sexuality. And what are our responsibilities as writers when addressing these issues. Finally, what are the expectations imposed upon us by the reading public and the publishing industry to write from a perspective that correlates to our (cis) gender? (Bernardine Evaristo)”

Guter Junge – The Good Son, Germany

German Books Arrive

So the advance copies of Guter Junge (The Good Son German translation) have arrived at the offices of Wagenbach and are about to be sent out to reviewers and booksellers.

German Book 2

The English and French versions of the novel came out in paperback only so this is the first hardback edition of The Good Son and the first hardback of my work – ever. It’s the little firsts that give the most excitement.

Wagenbach brochure

My publishers seem to be as excited as I am as they’ve put the novel on the cover of their Autumn catalogue and produced thousands of postcards to send around bookshops all over  Germany. there are 3 which have different quotes from the book.

Bochure 2

Inside, there’s a great, big spread of the brilliant photo taken by Roeloff Bakker who is also a writer. You should check him out.

Brouchure 3

There’s also a short interview. All of this at the front of the catalogue too. I’ve been invited  over to The Berlin International Literature Festival to read from the novel and I can’t wait.

More news soon…