Fri 16 June 8pm: Reading at Polari Literary Salon at Sunflower Pub
You catch me reading at The Belfast Book Festival this year as The Polari Literary Salon comes to Belfast for the first time! Polari was founded by author Paul Burston who also founded the Polari First Novel Award which I won last year.
Juliet Jacques, me & Paul Burston at Polari Prize ceremony
Paul and author Vg Lee will be flying over and will be reading from their work. Here’s a little but about the Polari Salon…
London’s award-winning LGBT literary salon. Now in its tenth year, Polari has been showcasing the best in established and emerging LGBT literary talent since 2007. Polari is curated and hosted by author Paul Burston and features a mixture of visiting and local guests.
Polari began in November 2007 in the upstairs room of a bar in Soho. Events are now held monthly at the Southbank Centre and feature the best in established and emerging LGBT literary talent.
“Always fun, always thought-provoking – a guaranteed good night out” – Sarah Waters
“Polari is a unique mix of voices that provokes the strongest responses from its audience – love, laughter, tears, but most of all, thought” – Val McDermid
“London’s most theatrical salon” – The New York Times
Hope to see some of you there.
Exciting news for me and The Good Son thanks to WHSmith Travel who have chosen me for their Fresh Talent promotion (reported in The Bookseller today). The Good Son will be in all their travel shops in trains stations and airports around the UK. Great news for reaching new audiences.
Special thanks to The Polari Prize (and founder Paul Burston) which, I think, had a lot to do with this.
Here’s what WH Smith had to say in The Bookseller today:
“Polari First Book Prize winner The Good Son (Salt) by Northern Irish author Paul McVeigh, a coming-of-age novel following a young boy growing up during the Troubles in 1980s Belfast, was singled out as “a gem of a novel that blends pathos and humour perfectly through the eyes of its inspired and heroic narrator, Mickey.”
You can read the whole article and find out about the other authors who were chosen, here.
Winner of The Polari Prize
“One of the most engaging protagonists of the year”
Bailey’s Prize-winner Lisa McInerney
The Good Son Makes The Polari Prize Shortlist
The Good Son has made The Polari Prize shortlist. Exciting!
You can read all about it here.
The Chair of the judges, Paul Burston, wrote a wonderful article in The Irish Times about Mickey Donnelly that I found very moving.
“There aren’t a great many sexually ambiguous, sassy, 10-year-old Irish narrators in literature. So thank heavens for Mickey Donnelly. From the moment we first meet him, we know that Mickey is a mammy’s boy. But there’s more to it than that. To his older brother Paddy, he’s a “wee gay boy” and “a fucking weirdo”. To the kids who play on the mean streets where he lives, he’s a “fruity boy” who acts “like a girl”. The boys bully him. The girls tease him. Even Mickey’s Aunt Kathleen worries about the way he behaves. “Do you think he’s…” she asks, before Mickey’s mother cuts her off. Not even a doting mammy wants to consider the possibility of her wee boy turning out like that.”
“What emerges from this novel isn’t just a portrait of the outsider as a young Irishman. It’s also a testament to the strength of character required by gay children simply to survive. Mickey may be effeminate but he’s certainly not weak. He’s kind, loving and sometimes an eejit. He’s also cunning and far more courageous than any 10-year-old boy should need to be. He might not have his “man’s voice” yet, but he’s the only one man enough to take care of his mother.”
Read it all here. It’s really special.
Currently shortlisted for The Polari Prize
Chosen as Brighton’s City Reads 2016
Shortlisted: The Guardian’s ‘Not The Booker’ Prize
Shortlisted: The Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award
Finalist for The People’s Book Prize
ELLE Magazine Best Books of 2015