Delighted that The 32 was covered by Hot Press. Here’s a taste…
Kevin Barry, Roddy Doyle and Lisa McInerney are among the contributors to the upcoming collection of essays.
Following the success of Kit de Waal’s Common People: An Anthology of Working Class Writers, Belfast author Paul McVeigh has announced the launch of The 32: An Anthology of Irish Working Class Voices on Unbound – the world’s first crowdfunding publisher.
Bringing together 16 published writers and 16 new voices to share their experiences of being working class in Ireland, The 32 will feature essays from Kevin Barry, Lisa McInerney, Roddy Doyle, Senator Lynne Ruane, Dermot Bolger, among many others.
Award-winning author Paul McVeigh, who featured in Kit de Waal’s Common People is set to edit the anthology.
“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,” states the project’s synopsis. “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.”
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!
Well, this is a corker.
A Panel Discussion With Roddy Doyle, John Boyne & Kit De Waal Chaired By Paul McVeigh
Do fiction writers have a responsibility to engage with politics? The line between fiction and nonfiction is constantly blurred, especially in the post-truth climate of today. Fiction reflects the world around us, and the world around us at this particular moment in time is in crisis: politically, socially and culturally.
And so, in this tumultuous political climate, this panel will raise, and attempt to answer questions such as, whether fiction writers hold a responsibility to engage with and write about politics?; whether fiction can affect politics?; and whether all fiction is political?
Making up stories is an inherently political act, but that doesn’t mean that the stories are about politics. Does fiction have the ability to change minds? Come and enter into the conversation with these four writers as they discuss and shed light upon a question of pressing importance.
Hope to see some of you there.
Lovely to see this praise for The Good Son from author Kerry Hudson in The Observer newspaper yesterday;
“When I think of exceptional working-class novels from the last few years, I inevitably think of Kit de Waal’s My Name Is Leon and Paul McVeigh’s The Good Son, both skilfully written books about two very different boys’ challenges growing up in working-class environments.”
She also mentions de Waal’s Common People Anthology out next year which includes my first piece of memoir. You can head over and read the whole article here.
Podcast: Can Literature Solve Poverty
Last week I did an event at the LSE for the Royal Society of Literature with academic Dr Aaron Reeves and novelist Kit de Waal. We read from our work and talked about literature and working class lives. You can listen to it here.
Hosted by LSE “Beveridge 2.0” and the Royal Society of Literature
“In the run up to the LSE Festival: Beveridge 2.0, rethinking the welfare state for the 21st Century, we bring together a panel to discuss the relationship between literature and poverty. They reflect on questions such as: do you need money to access literature? If not, why are there comparatively few working-class writers? And can literature actively play a part in reducing financial hardship?”
I’ll be sharing the stage with Kit de Waal again – we had a wonderful time at Le Livres sur les Quais in Morges, Switzerland, last year. Kit mentioned The Good Son in her article for the Guardian on working class literature this weekend. Kit also commissioned me for the Common People anthology currently 75% funded on Unbounders. I can’t wait.