historical fiction

A history book club

book club loveI love books; reading books; buying or borrowing books; thinking about what I’ll read next, and of course, talking about books . I think I’ve been part of at least one book club (if not two or three) for the last ten years. Whether its friends, colleagues, my local library or part of an independent bookshop (shout out to Bob in the Gutter Bookshop for the excellent book clubs he runs!), being in a book club has always seemed like a great way to share an experience that can be so personal and make it communal.

As a Historian-in-Residence working with Dublin City Council and through Dublin City Libraries it made perfect sense to me to bring the two together… History + Libraries = a new History book club! But would the book club format work for history books? With fiction, the standard genre for any book club, it’s all about your opinion. Did you like the book, the characters, the plot, the style of writing…etc. You don’t have to be an expert on the subject of the book to discuss it. Whereas with a history book club would people feel that had to already be familiar with the historical content of the book before giving their opinion on it? There is such a huge interest in history in Dublin; in local, Irish and international history, I thought I’d take a chance. So began two new History book clubs in Terenure and Pembroke Libraries. So far they’ve been going great!

Dolphins Barn: Creative Digital Animation Series

Creative Digital Animation title In April and May of 2017 Dolphin's Barn Library hosted a series of workshops where young historians learned how to combine research, storytelling, drawing and digital animation to tell a tale from Irish history.

Expert facilitators included historian Conor Kostick and author and illustrator Alan Nolan.

The result is this exciting video set in Dublin 1920. In it Tadhg undertakes a dangerous mission to deliver a message to Countess Markievicz. On the way he evades policemen, befriends Victoria Jacobs and is shot at by the 'Black and Tans'!

The project was supported by the UNESCO City of Literature office.

New Laureate for Irish Fiction - Sebastian Barry.

Sebastian BarryCongratulations to Sebastian Barry, son of Dublin and well regarded around here this long time as he embarks on his three year stint as Laureate for Irish Fiction.

As who for what?

The Laureateship is an initiative of the Arts Council which has the following aims:

  • honouring an established Irish writer of fiction;
  • encouraging a new generation of writers;
  • promoting Irish literature nationally and internationally;
  • encouraging the public to engage with high quality Irish fiction.

Read the Rising - Top 25 Fiction

Children of Isaac by PJ ConnollyThe 1916 Rising has inspired many writers of fiction, both Irish and international, including Roddy Doyle, Marita Conlon-McKenna, Morgan Llwelyn and Mario Vargos Llosa. In its centenary year we have selected our top 25 fiction books which are set during or make reference to the 1916 Rising.  These books deal with a range of themes and issues reflecting this turbulent time in Irish and European history.

The list comprises novels, short stories and a graphic novel and is arranged by date of publication.

A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle  Rebel Sisters by Marita Conlon-McKenna  Blood upon the Rose by Gerry Hunt  Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa

Walter Scott Prize Longlist Announced

Mrs EngelsDublin-born author Gavin McCrea's debut novel 'Mrs Engels' has been longlisted along with twelve other books for the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction. Founded in 2010, the prize is awarded for "writing of exceptional quality which is set in the past". Eligible books must have been first published in the UK, Ireland or Commonwealth in the preceding year.

The winner of the Walter Scott Prize receives st£25,000, making it is one of the largest literary awards in the UK.

The longlist is:-

Fallen is One City One Book Choice for 2016!

FallenWe are delighted to announce that Lia Mills’ novel Fallen, published by Penguin Ireland, is the Dublin: One City One Book choice for 2016.

We are also delighted to announce that, for the first time, Dublin will team up with Belfast for a 'Two Cities One Book' Festival.  2016 will see a partnership with Libraries NI (the library authority for Northern Ireland) so that next April readers in Dublin and Belfast will engage with the same book at the same time. The initiative was launched at noon today (14th) by an tArdmhéara Críona Ní Dhálaigh and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD.

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