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ISSN 0376-6039

No. 386 July/August 2019

Cover: The Sandcastle, Iris Murdoch. VINTAGE Classics special edition.

Editor Tony Canavan Founding publisher Jeremy Addis Publishing Manager Una MacConville Publishing, Marketing, Development Caoimhe Fox Cover Ger Garland Production and Design Wordwell Ltd Irish-language consultant Cathal Póirtéir Copy-editing Aoife Condit de Espino Media and communications Elizabeth Coffey Administration Helen Dunne Subscriptions Carol MacManus 00353-1-2933568 Published by Wordwell Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford Industrial Estate, Dublin 18, Eircode: D18 C6V6. Advertising Caoimhe Fox Editorial Review copies to: Books Ireland magazine, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, D18 C6V6 Dublin 18. Printed by Turners, Longford

Books Ireland receives financial assistance from the Arts Council/Airgeadas ó an Chomhairle Ealaíon.

BookS Ireland July/August 2019


SUMMER IS HERE and so, too, is our summer bookshop promotion. We have run this promotion successfully for a number of years now and this year more booksellers than ever across the country are taking part. Part of the promotion is that many of the bookshops mount a window or in-store display inspired by our selection of summer reading. This year members of the team here at Books Ireland were asked to come up with their pick of the crop of Irish books published this year. You may be surprised at some of the choices but we hope that our selection will not only point readers towards familiar authors and genres, but may encourage them to stretch their boundaries and read a new author or dip their toe into a genre they may not normally read. Either way, we wish everyone happy summer reading.

The Irish have a long history of emigration but in recent decades, we have also experienced immigration as people from many different countries come to live and work here. Yet, while the Irish emigration experience is celebrated in song and story, the experience of those who come to settle in Ireland has yet to reach the mainstream. In our opinion piece, novelist Mary Watson gives us an insight into her experiences of moving to Ireland from South Africa and how the myths of Ireland not only inspired her writing but enabled her to plant firm roots in her new country.

Iris Murdoch’s family emigrated from Ireland when she was very young. As a novelist, she was so much a part of the English writing scene that few considered her to be Irish. Marking the centenary of her birth, Miles Leeson looks at Murdoch’s Irish background and her connections to her country of birth. He argues that Murdoch never turned her back on Ireland and should be considered an Irish writer.

A personal legacy is remembered by novelist Catherine Doyle, who has fond memories of Galway City Library and the discovery there of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, the book that captured her imagination and set her on the path to becoming a writer herself.

Also in this issue, while Anne O’Leary compares and contrasts the novel and stage version of Edna O’Brien’s Country Girls. Caoimhe Fox has an in-depth chat with award-winning novelist Jan Carson about her latest book, The Fire Starters, and finds out what inspired her. To add to our selection of a Summer Crop of Books, we review yet more in our regular features and our in-house columnists bring us their choice of crime, poetry, début authors and books as Gaeilge.

And finally, I am delighted to announce that we have new member on our team. Beginning in this issue, Síne Quinn will take a look at the latest in Young Adult books. This genre has been growing in recent years and is becoming an increasingly important part of Irish publishing. Síne has an M.Phil in Children’s Literature and has worked with Children’s Books Ireland. She is an editor with Cubicle 7, a creative writing teacher working with the Bookmarks Programme TCD and a CBI book doctor. Her column will be a valuable addition to our coverage of what is published in Ireland and will answer a growing demand for information about YA publications.

Tony Canavan


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