Since winning The Polari First Book Prize The Good Son has featured in WHSmith promotions a number of times and now it will part of the WHSmith celebration of gay literature alongside classics from Edmund White, E.M. Forster, James Baldwin and William Burroughs. You can find the gay literature promotion in select WHSmith UK travel stores from 22nd June – 12th July. Here’s what they say over on their blog where you can also see the other books they’ve chosen…
“50 years ago in July 1967, the Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexual behaviour between men over the age of 21 in England and Wales. To commemorate this landmark Act, we’ve put together a list of important gay literature from the past 100 years, including classics, debuts, fiction, non-fiction and anything in-between.”
It’s a honour to sit alongside these classics.
Winner of The Polari Prize
“Pungently funny and shot through with streaks of aching sadness.” Patrick Gale
“I devoured it in a day, but I’ve thought about it for many, many more.” Lisa McInerney
“Funny, raw and endlessly entertaining.” Johnathan Coe
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
A week today, one of these six books will be named winner of The Polari First Book Prize 2016. The writer will receive a trophy and a cheque for £1000.
‘Blood Relatives’ – Stevan Alcock (Fourth Estate)
‘Sugar and Snails’ – Anne Goodwin (Inspired Quill)
‘Trans’ – Juliet Jacques (Verso)
‘Different for Girls’ – Jacquie Lawrence (Zitebooks)
‘Physical’ – Andrew McMillan (Jonathan Cape)
‘The Good Son’ – Paul McVeigh (Salt)
You can come along to find out if I won. The announcement will be part of a Polari salon showcasing readings by Namita Chakrabarty, North Morgan, Alexis Gregory and Amy Acre.
I hope to see some of you there. Fingers crossed for me.
The Good Son: Currently Shortlisted for The Polari Prize
Appearances: Kildare Readers Festival with Lisa McInerney, Oct 15
Wivenhoe Bookshop with AL Kennedy, Oct 29
Outburst Festival Belfast, Nov 14
German Tour: Olpe, Nov 15/Munich, Nov 16/Regendburg, Nov 17/Hamburg, Nov 18
Shrewsbury Literature Festival: Nov 25/26
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
In this touching article for the Huffington Post, Polari Prize-winning author Diriye Osman talks about his fear of reading his work live. He praises Word Factory, where I’m the Associate Director. Have you ever been? It’s a monthly short story salon in Waterstones Piccadilly. If you love short stories or just great writing you should come along. Over the last 3 years we’ve had AS Byatt, Hanif Kureishi, Michael Morporgo, Lionel Shriver… to name but a few. You can have a look at the upcoming salon’s here and there’s also a treasure trove of videos of past salons.
You can see Diriye read from his groundbreaking short stories at Word Factory this month, Sept 19.
Oh, and Diriye also praised my debut novel The Good Son, calling it ‘a revelatory and stunning coming-of-age story set during the Troubles in Ireland’. Nice!
You can read the full article here.
He looks amazing!