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ISSN 0376-6039

No. 387 September/October 2019

'19Sept-Oct BOOKSIre3.qxp_Nick 19/08/2019 09:23 Page 1

€5.95 / £4.95

SeptemBeR/OctOBeR 2019 ISSue NO. 387

BENEDICT KIELY 100th anniversary

THE TURF-CUTTER’S DONKEY Remembering a classic

AN tOIREACTHAS Shortlists for Irish Language Books of the Year

Cover: from Mór agus Muilc by John Óg Hiúdaí Neidí Ó Colla. Éabhlóid. Illustration by Kim Sharkey.

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 Advertising Caoimhe Fox Editorial Review copies to: Books Ireland magazine, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, D18 C6V6 Dublin 18. Published by Wordwell Ltd, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford Industrial Estate, Dublin 18, Eircode: D18 C6V6. Printed by Turners, Longford Books Ireland receives financial assistance from the Arts Council/Airgeadas ó an Chomhairle Ealaíon.

EDITORIAL SOME MAY VIEW THE WORLD of Irish books as a cosy place, little affected by what goes on in the wider world, but the wider world has always had an impact on both Irish writers and Irish publishers, and never more so than in recent years. Since 2016 Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has been the focus of attention for all of us in Ireland, but it has direct implications for Irish publishing, as Britain is our largest export market. By the time this issue hits the streets, Boris Johnson will have settled in as British Prime Minister. His career to date has not inspired confidence and his pronouncements on Ireland provoke fear. His supporters may say that it takes a wise man to play the fool and that he will show a new side to his character once in office, but it remains to be seen whether Johnson can transform him- self from Prince Hal to King Henry IV. If he pursues a course of no-deal Brexit, then it is not just Irish publishers who will be damaged but also the Irish economy, and proba- bly peace on this island.

Still, we must carry on, and this issue of Books Ireland is packed full of interesting items. We are proud once again to link up with An tOireachtas, one of the lead Irishlanguage organisations, in publishing the three shortlists of its Irish Language Book of the Year Publishing Awards. The Books Ireland team is delighted to be involved in this collaboration. We see this as complementary to the contribution of Cathal Póirtéir in his column ‘Leabhair Idir Lámha’, in which he reviews books published as Gaeilge.

In this issue, too, we mark another important literary centenary. Benedict Kiely was born 100 years ago and through his work has left a lasting legacy that has influenced many Irish writers. In contrast to much of the fuss created over the centenary of Iris Murdoch, who largely turned her back on Ireland, little has been done to mark Kiely’s anniversary. I am proud to say that we carry a feature article outlining the breadth of his achievements as an Irish writer.

Not quite 100 years but reaching a significant milestone is the Lilliput Press, which this year celebrates its 35th anniversary. Ruth Hallinan tells the story of Lilliput from its humble beginnings to the success story that it is today—all guided by the steady hand of Antony Farrell, founder of Lilliput.

An important literary institution also has a significant birthday this year. Literature Ireland has gone from strength to strength since it was founded 25 years ago. This body has done sterling work in promoting Irish writers overseas and in helping Irish publishers to establish themselves in new markets. It organises the Irish presence at international book fairs and ensures that Irish literature is recognised throughout the world.

Finally, I am happy to announce that Books Ireland has undertaken a new departure in that we are upgrading our online content. Digital and online media are becoming increasingly important, and a growing number of people read newspapers and magazines online. We have had a digital version for some time now, but our plan is to increase our online content, using it to keep in touch with book-related news and events as they happen. More traditional readers need not worry. We are not diminishing our published version, which will carry on as before except that there will now be a symbiotic relationship with the website.

Tony Canavan

BOOKS Ireland September/October 2019


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