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The Country Girls, a celebration – 18 April
April 18 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm£8
I wakened quickly and sat up in bed abruptly. It is only when I am anxious that I waken easily and for a minute I did not know why my heart was beating faster than usual. Then I remembered. The old reason. He had not come home…
So begins Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls. With the support of the Dublin: One City, One Book festival we are bringing together a fascinating panel to discuss The Country Girls trilogy as it is being celebrated in Dublin as the chosen festival book. Quite clearly we are not in Dublin but we’re delighted to extend the consideration of O’Brien’s work to London, a city pivotal to her writing career and the setting for the last part of the trilogy. The special edition of the trilogy produced for this celebration is published by Faber & Faber and is introduced by Eimear McBride. The trilogy changed the temperature of Irish literature in the 1960s and inspired generations of readers and writers.
O’Brien’s invocation of female characters who dared desire more from life than domestic and sexual servitude, emotional disaffection and intellectual abnegation, was nothing short of revolutionary. Not only was O’Brien giving voice to the voiceless, she was washing the nation’s dirty laundry in public, laundry which has proved so dirty that, more than 50 years later, it is still proving in need of a rinse.Eimear McBrideThe passion, artistry and courage of Edna O’Brien’s vision in these novels continue to resonate into the 21st century. In addition to readings and discussion our panel will consider the role of the city in the books, how the romantic aspects of O’Brien’s work have coloured her reception and O’Brien’s influence on younger writers. Dublin One City One Book is a Dublin City Council initiative, led by Dublin City Public Libraries,
Presented in association with the Dublin: One City One Book:
Chair: Dr Anne Goudsmit
Dr Anne Goudsmit left Ireland to study at Sussex University and at the Sorbonne before moving to London. Her early career was in Finance, when she worked at Citibank and subsequently at ITV. Anne wrote her PhD thesis on Northern Irish fiction at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, where she was a visiting lecturer. She is a member of the Irish Literary Society. She recently became a member of the board at the Irish Cultural Centre where she convenes a monthly Book Club.
Speaker: Helen Cullen
Helen Cullen is an Irish writer living in London. She worked at RTÉ for seven years before moving to London in 2010. Her debut novel, The Lost Letters of William Woolf was published by Penguin in July 2018. Helen is now writing full-time and working on her second novel. She is also a contributor to the Irish Times newspaper and Sunday Times Magazine. Helen holds an M.A. Theatre Studies from UCD and is currently completing an M.A. English Literature at Brunel University. She was nominated as Best Newcomer in the An Post Irish Book Awards 2018.
Speaker: Dr Sinéad Mooney
Dr Sinéad Mooney is a graduate of University College Cork and the University of Oxford. She is currently a senior lecturer in English at De Montfort University, Leicester, where she teaches Irish literature and creative writing. Her monograph, A Tongue Not Mine: Beckett and Translation (Oxford University Press) won the 2012 American Conference for Irish Studies Robert Rhodes Prize, and her chapter on Edna O’Brien appeared in the recent in A History of Modern Irish Women’s Literature, edited by Clíona O’Gallchóir and Heather Ingman. She is currently working on a study of Irish women’s modernism.
Speaker: Paula McGrath
Paula McGrath lives in Dublin. A History of Running Away is her second novel. Her first, Generation, was published in 2015. She has a background in English Literature and is currently an Irish Research Council (Government of Ireland) PhD scholar at the University of Limerick. She received an Arts Council literary bursary in 2016, and was recently Irish Writers Centre Writer-in-Residence in St Mark’s English Church, Florence. In another life she was a yoga teacher.
- Irish Literary Society
- Dublin, UNESCO City of Literature One City / One Book
- Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith