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Essaying the Body: Sinéad Gleeson and Emilie Pine – 5 June | Irish Literary Society
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Essaying the Body: Sinéad Gleeson and Emilie Pine – 5 June

5th June 2019 @ 19:30 - 20:30 UTC

Sinéad Gleeson and Emilie Pine join the ILS to discuss their recent books of essays. Pine’s winning last year’s An Post Irish Book of the Year seemed to mark a reemergence of the essay form in Irish literature. Perhaps the flourishing of literary journals in Ireland has encouraged this, perhaps the renewed appreciation of Hubert Butler’s work has been an influence, certainly his cosmopolitan sensibility is present in the recent creative non-fiction of Brian Dillon, Kevin Breathnach, Ian Maleney…
I’ve never read anything quite like these essays. Pine’s fluent intelligence flows through each question, each dilemma, in its own inimitable way. It’s the kind of book you want to give to everyone, especially young women and men, so that we can learn together to take ourselves and each other more seriously.Martina Evans in the Irish Times on Notes to Self

The personal essays of Pine and Gleeson share the ambition of those authors, yet move inward reflecting on their own bodily traumas and the politics of the female body in Ireland in the last 50 years. In its variously raw, funny, acute manner Pine’s vivid collection addresses addiction, fertility, feminism, sexual violence and depression. The formal experimentation of Gleeson’s Constellations is startling, throughout this intimate account of pain is illuminating of art and the wider world.

Books will be for sale after and the authors will be available to sign.

Chair: Dr Lara Feigel
Lara Feigel

Dr Feigel is a literary critic and cultural historian teaching in the English department at King’s College London. Her most recent book Free Woman is an investigation of freedom that’s part memoir and part biography of Doris Lessing. It interweaves life and literature to think about motherhood, sex, madness and communism, testing the gains and costs of living freely. At King’s she co-directs the Centre for Modern Literature and Culture and runs the Ivan Juritz Prize, which celebrates creative experiment in all art forms. She reviews regularly for various publications (most frequently the Guardian and the Observer).


Speaker: Sinéad Gleeson
Sinead Gleeson

Sinéad Gleeson is a writer of essays, criticism and fiction. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Winter Papers and Gorse, and a story of hers will appear in Being Various: New Irish Short Stories published by Faber in May 2018. She is the editor of three short story anthologies, including The Long Gaze Back: an Anthology of Irish Women Writers and The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland, both of which won Best Irish Published Book at the Irish Book Awards. Sinéad has worked as an arts critic and broadcaster and has presented The Book Show on RTÉ Radio 1. She is working on a novel.


Speaker: Dr Emilie Pine
Dr Emilie Pine

Emilie Pine is Associate Professor of Modern Drama at University College Dublin. Emilie is Editor of the Irish University Review and Director of the Irish Memory Studies Network ( She is PI of the Irish Research Council New Horizons project Industrial Memories a digital humanities re-reading of the Ryan Report on institutional child abuse ( Emilie has published widely in the field of Irish studies and memory studies, including The Politics of Irish Memory: Performing Remembrance in Contemporary Irish Culture (Palgrave, 2011) and The Memory Marketplace: Performance, Testimony and Witnessing in Contemporary Theatre (forthcoming Indiana University Press, 2019). Her first collection of personal essays, Notes to Self, was published by Tramp Press (2018).


Image above: Femme nue auprès d’une glace, 1889 by Paul-Albert Besnard. Held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.


5th June 2019
19:30 - 20:30 UTC
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