Wednesday, 1 October 2014

DLR Library Voices Series presents;

Rachel Joyce In Conversation with Nadine O’Regan. Tuesday 14th October at 8 pm 




Meet Rachel Joyce, author of the two million-copy worldwide bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, discussing the heartrending parallel story, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy.
When Queenie discovers that Harold Fry is walking the length of England to save her, she is shocked. Her note to him had explained she was dying from cancer. How can she wait? A new volunteer at the hospice suggests that Queenie should write again; Queenie thought her first letter would be the end of the story. She was wrong. It was just the beginning. For anyone who loves Harold and his world, hearing more of Queenie's side of the story will be a mouth-watering prospect.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Joseph O'Neill in conversation with Sínead Gleeson at the Pavilion Theatre, 24th September 2014





Hot on the tails of dlr Mountains to Sea Book Festival we had Joseph O'Neill in conversation with Sínead Gleeson at the Pavilion Theatre, last night. This event kicked off our dlr Library Voices series for Autumn, featuring Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry), Ian McEwan and Mary Costello.
Joseph O’Neill’s brilliant last novel, 'Netherland' won the Kerry Fiction Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award and established the New York-based Irish writer in the first rank of international novelists. His first novel since then, 'The Dog' is led by a brilliantly entertaining anti-hero. A New York attorney accepts an old college buddy’s job offer in Dubai. Haunted by a failed relationship and hoping for a fresh start, he begins to suspect that he has exchanged one inferno for another. Imprisoned by his own reasoning and by the ethical demands of globalized life, he is fatefully drawn towards the only logical response to our confounding epoch

Tickets are still available for the three events featuring Rachel Joyce, Ian McEwan and Mary Costello at the Pavilion Theatre box office on (01) 231 2929
Thanks to Ger Holland Photography

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Joseph O'Neill: 'It's not my fault if every time I sit down to write, something big happens!'

The Irish-born, New York-based writer on post-9/11 novels, big global events, Barack Obama and finding sudden fame
Joseph O'Neill: 'It’s naive to say that a book which describes the situation of rich people must be a book which celebrates that situation.' Photograph: Ryan Pfluger
Joseph O'Neill is a writer of Irish-Turkish descent, born in 1964, who grew up in the Netherlands, worked for several years as a barrister in London and now lives in New York. He has written three previous novels and a family memoir. His last novel, the critically acclaimed Netherland, about cricket in New York, was praised by Barack Obama. O'Neill's new novel, The Dog (Fourth Estate £16.99), is about an American lawyer who, following a break-up, moves to Dubai to manage the wealth of a rich Lebanese family. It has been longlisted for the Man Booker prize.
How much research did you do? Why did you decide to set your new novel in Dubai? 
I think it's my ongoing connection to England. Around 2007, every time I was talking to English people, they all seemed to be commercially orientated towards Dubai. It's on the European map in a way it isn't for Americans. And Dubai is a kind of California. It's the future for the so-called sophisticated west. We're all headed to Dubai, not just culturally but on matters such as labour organisation and the hollowing-out of the nation state.
I took two trips out there of just over a week, to meet people and get some stuff I couldn't get online.
Netherland was often described as a post-9/11 novel. The new book, which opens in 2007, is obliquely about the financial crisis. How conscious are you of being a writer who tackles big events? 
I don't sit around waiting for these things to occur. It's not my fault if every time I sit down to write, something big happens! But I suppose I am more interested in global events than in what's happening, say, in Galway or Pittsburgh. It's my background. I don't have home turf, so I have no choice but to float around on these post-national currents.
Your fiction often focuses on corporate elites. Do you feel a pressure to write about the other end of the social spectrum? 
I think it's naive to say that a book which describes the situation of rich people must be a book which celebrates that situation, or that there's a path of novelistic virtue in describing what happens to the poor. My experience is that the more privileged the reader in question, the more readily they demand that people write about stuff that doesn't resemble their lives.
The Dog's language is interesting. There are lengthy passages of legal/philosophical argument, in which the narrator justifies his behaviour. Then there's quite a bit of satire of Dubai-style capitalism and of social media. Why this particular collision? 
There's a way in which the discourse of the Enlightenment, of reason, is coming under enormous stress from technology and consumerism and the strains of self-righteousness unleashed by social media. Nowadays, if you say anything that is clearly true but upsets people, it starts to lose validity. You see this in US politics very clearly. There's a comedy in the way the narrator tries to use arguments that no longer have much value. He's tilting at windmills with his powers of reason.
With Netherland, you suddenly went from being an unheralded writer to being well known. How did that affect you?
Unheralded is putting it mildly. Family and paid readers came into contact with my work and no one else! But yes, the success of Netherland had a huge impact on my life because it enabled me to carry on being published. I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't found some readers.
What's your writing routine? 
I don't have a routine. I've got too much going on in terms of getting through life. What I do is go away for two weeks at a time about twice a year, and I do most of my writing there. This book is 60,000 words and took five years. I have no urge to write journalism; I write so slowly it makes no sense. In fact, I just wrote something for a magazine which was about 1,000 words and it took a month. And it wasn't even that good!
Obama famously endorsed Netherland. Have you read his books? 
I think I pretended to have read one of them at some point, but no I haven't. I felt uncomfortable with the whole Obama thing. I'm sure it sold books, which I'll take. But he's now been in office for six years and they're still force-feeding people in Guantánamo Bay. So it's kind of problematic to have that name on your jacket.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Joseph O’Neill In Conversation with Sinead Gleeson

Wednesday 24th September in the Pavilion Theatre at 8.00pm.


Lest you are feeling withdrawal symptoms after Mountains to Sea, fear not - we have a great lineup of dlr Library Voices for Autumn/Winter 2014 - Joseph O'Neill, Ian McEwan, Rachel Joyce and Mary Costello! First up is O'Neill in conversation with Sinéad Gleeson on Wednesday 24th September in the Pavilion Theatre at 8.00pm. His last novel Netherland, won the Kerry Fiction Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award and established the New York-based Irish writer in the first rank of international novelists. 

His first novel since then, The Dog, is led by a brilliantly entertaining anti-hero. A New York attorney accepts an old college buddy’s job offer in Dubai. Haunted by a failed relationship and hoping for a fresh start, he begins to suspect that he has exchanged one inferno for another. Don't miss the first event in this great new series of author events.

Tickets €10/8. Booking at Pavilion Theatre 01 231 2929 or www.paviliontheatre.ie

Monday, 15 September 2014


A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE involved in making Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival 2014 a success.


Yasmeen Ismail, Steve Simpson, Aideen Howard, Sinead Morrissey, Lynn Barber and Sinead Gleeson
Photographers; Mark Granier and Ger Holland

A huge thanks to all the wonderful authors, poets, illustrators, musicians, singers, journalists, moderators, introducer's, publishers, booksellers (Gutter Bookshop and Books Upstairs) who helped to make Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival 2014 such a great success! Our Curators Bert Wright, Aideen Howard and Sarah Webb put a terrific programme together. Our venues were superb - the Pavilion, Maritime Museum, County Hall and in particular our fab new dlr LexIcon where we welcomed over 4,000 people over the weekend.

You can relive the memories with Ger Holland's and Mark Granier's photo record of the many events and we'll have them on our website soon, along with a selection of podcasts. Thanks to our many sponsors who made such a difference to the programme and in particular the British Council Ireland for bringing the Dylan Thomas Poetry Shed (and many associated events) to Dún Laoghaire.

Above all, we'd like to thank YOU, our wonderful audiences for supporting the programme and coming out in your droves to share the weekend with us. And remember, you won't have long to wait until our next festival when we return to our usual full length programme from 18th-22nd March. We look forward to seeing you!

The festival organisers would like to extend their sincere gratitude to all involved in Mountains to Sea dlr Book Festival 2014. A full list is available here.

Picture Blog from Mountains to Sea 2014

Pop-up Poetry Soapbox at the Dylan Thomas Shed, on Sunday 14th September, with dlr Cathaoirleach Maire Baker, Aideen Howard; Poetry Now Curator, The British Ambassador to Ireland; Dominick Chilcott, Menna Elfyn, Nessa O’Mahoney, Colm Keegan and many more. Thanks to the British Council Ireland, Dylan Thomas Boathouse, Stena Line and the Dylan Thomas 100 Festival.

The British Ambassador to Ireland; Dominick Chilcott


Colm Keegan, dlr Writer in Residence


Aideen Howard; Poetry Now Curator



         David Melling who worked with Yasmeen Ismail on the Picture Book Picnic 
 outside the new library, dlr LexIcon

David Melling


   David Park and Sinead Morrissey in conversation with Gerald Dawe






My Birthday began with the water - The Legacy of Dylan Tomas, with Menna Elfyn, Nessa O'Mahony and Nery's Williams, chaired by Siobhan Parkinson









Sunday, 14 September 2014

Picture Blog from Mountains to Sea 2014

Saturday 13th September


Lynn Barber in conversation with Sinead Gleeson Saturday afternoon at the Pavilion Theatre







Kamilia Shamsie and Xiaolu Guo in conversation with Mia Gallagher on Saturday afternoon in the Pavilion Theatre





Inspired by To the Letter by Simon Garfield and Letters of Note by Shaun Usher, LETTERS LIVE happened in the Pavilion Theatre on Saturday Night.