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Tag Archives: Ennis Book Club Festival

When will we highlight colluders in Church’s shame, asks writer

THE German experience, where society had to acknowledge the involvement of many ordinary people in committing the greatest horrors of the 20th century, is something Ireland can learn from as it deals with the legacy of widespread clerical abuse. That’s the view of Derek Scally, the Berlin-based Irish Times journalist whose book The Best Catholics In The World has won very positive reviews from some highly respected commentators. Along with Fintan O’Toole, Declan O’Rourke and Sophie White, he will be at the Sunday Symposium in Glór this weekend, which is the first event of the final day of the Ennis Book Club festival. He said that the book started off as he observed the decline in the Church after making a visit home. “I’ve been living in Germany for the last 20 years, and after a while you kind of feel you have one foot in both camps, I’m kind of at home in Dublin and at home in Berlin. …

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‘You can feel the tension up here on the ground at the minute’

Jan Carson, who appears at Ennis Book Club Festival, tells Owen Ryan about her efforts to reflect all sides of the protestant experience WHILE they share the same island, it’s safe to say that most people at the Ennis Book Club Festival will know little of the culture of Antrim Presbyterian communities. Jan Carson, whose latest novel The Raptures has won widespread acclaim, is from such a background and it’s where she set the book, which tells the story of 11-year-old Hannah, in the summer of 1993. Hannah lives in the fictional village of Ballylack, and over the course of the summer her classmates begin to succumb to a violent and mysterious illness. Also in the village, tempers simmer, panic escalates and long-buried secrets threaten to emerge. The Republic was nowhere near as liberal as it is now in 1993, but the community Jan grew up in was far more conservative than anything the vast majority of people in Clare …

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From North Clare to the Bagfh Desert

Frank Golden launches his new collection ‘If You Tolerate This’ at Ennis book Club Festival. Here he writes of his love for barren and beautiful places IRAN had been a place of interest ever since the early eighties when I lived and worked in Kuwait. I had gone there to earn a little quick money and to pay off some debts. This was in 1981/82 during the Iran/Iraq war. The regular shelling of the port of Basra was audible in the coastal compound we lived in further down the coast. Each day we would be driven into the desert to Al-Wafrah which was in the neutral zone between Kuwait and Saudi. This was the area where US troops dug in prior to their offensive against Sadaam Hussein in 1990. Kuwait was an unattractive society on all kinds of levels but the desert was beautiful. The first serious rain in a decade fell that first Spring and the desert bloomed virtually …

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‘All of my works are failures’, says Booker Prize winner Banville

A BOOKER prize winner, one of the most lauded writers in the English language today, John Banville says that every one of his books is a failure, and the act of writing leaves him constantly disappointed. He will be at Glór on Saturday, March 5, as part of the Ennis Book Club Festival, appearing alongside fellow author Kevin Power. Originally from Wexford, Banville’s first novel Nightspawn was published in 1971. His Revolutions Trilogy was published between 1976 and 1982, while his 1989 novel The Book of Evidence was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Guinness Peat Aviation Award. In 2005 his thirteenth novel The Sea won the Booker Prize.  In addition, he publishes crime novels as Benjamin Black — most of these feature the character of Quirke, a pathologist based in Dublin. He has won numerous awards and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2007, while Italy made him a Cavaliere of the …

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Women’s voices gaining more purchase on literary landscape

IRELAND’S evolving society and what it has meant for women writers will be discussed at a forthcoming literary event. Look! It’s a Woman Writer! Irish Literary Feminisms 1970-2020 is one of the Ennis Book Club Festival events and will be held at Glór on March 4. In 2021, author Éilís Ni Dhuibhne asked 21 writers who were born in mid-twentieth-century Ireland, north and south, to write about their literary lives. Collectively, these vivid, original essays make up Look! It’s a Woman Writer! Irish Literary Feminisms, 1970-2020 and provide a picture of Ireland’s literary landscape from multiple female points of view. These writers came of age when legislation for gender equality was beginning to be enacted. They are now growing older on an island where a great deal has changed and were activists and voices when it really mattered. Evelyn Conlon is one of the women included in the book and she will be part of the panel at Glór to …

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Ennis Book Club Festival is back live and in-person

THE Ennis Book Club Festival is back and is all set to take place from March 4 to 6, with the full programme having now been announced. On Friday, March 4, it kicks off with an event based on Look! It’s A Woman Writer! Irish Literary Feminisms by Éilís Ni Dhuibhne. Editor Ní Dhuibhne asked 21 Irish women who were born in and around the 1950s to write about their writing lives and in this volume, they tell it like it really was – and is. Panellists Lia Mills Catherine Dunne and Evelyn Conlon discuss what it means to be a woman writer, hosted by Arlen House publisher Alan Hayes. At 4.30pm in The Temple Gate hotel, local author Joe Queally chats about his book – Echoes from a Civil War. In the book, Queally analyses the 1925 death in Fanore of Guard Thomas Dowling and the 1929 death in Tullycrine of CID detective, Tadhg O’Sullivan, placing them firmly in …

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Edel features in mother of all book club events

BARRING further public health crises, the Ennis Book Club Festival will have in-person events on the first weekend in March. One of these will be entitled Motherhood, Destiny and Choices: Irish and American debuts asking tough questions, to be held at St Columba’s Church on the afternoon of March 5. Among the speakers will be Galway based Edel Coffey, whose first novel Breaking Point, has just come out. It tells the story of Susannah, a working mother, pulled in different directions each day, working as a doctor, researcher and professor as well as being a wife and mother. One frantic morning, with a disrupted routine and a work emergency, she leaves her young daughter in the car on a hot New York day. When she realises her mistake, it is already too late. Another woman Adelaide is a reporter covering a subsequent negligence trial, and for her the story is a familiar one, stirring up ghosts from her own long-buried …

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Climate theme to book clubs ahead of Ennis festival

THERE is growing excitement that the annual Ennis Book Club Festival will take place in person this year, writes Bridget Ginnity. We can look forward to welcoming writers like John Banville, Claire Keegan, Fintan O’Toole and Michael Harding to Ennis on the first weekend in March. The core of the Festival is book clubs and this year there is an opportunity to join one of two book clubs running for a limited period from February to April. The theme of both book clubs is a very current one, the climate. One book club will read and discuss “Active Hope” by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone. The second book club is based on the pope’s letter on climate change, “Laudato Si”, where he appeals for a dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our plant. The subtitle of the Active Hope book “how to face the mess we’re in without going crazy” describes the essence of the book and …

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