New Fiction by Irish Authors
Published on 3rd June 2021
This is a reimagining of the life of James Joyce’s wife, muse, and the model for Molly Bloom in Ulysses. Dublin, 1904. Nora Joseph Barnacle is a twenty-year-old from Galway working as a maid at Finn’s Hotel. She enjoys the liveliness of her adopted city and on June 16, Bloomsday, her life is changed when she meets Dubliner James Joyce, a fateful encounter that turns into a lifelong love. Nora follows Joyce in pursuit of a life beyond Ireland, and they surround themselves with a buoyant group of friends that grows to include Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and Sylvia Beach. But as their life unfolds, Nora finds herself in conflict between their intense desire for each other and the constant anxiety of living in poverty throughout Europe. So even when Jim writes, drinks, and gambles his way to literary acclaim, Nora provides unflinching support and inspiration, but at a cost to her own happiness and that of their children.
Redder Days is Sue Rainsford’s follow-up to her compelling debut Follow Me To Ground. Twins Anna and Adam live in an abandoned commune in a volatile landscape where they prepare for the world-ending event they believe is imminent. Adam keeps watch by day, Anna by night. They meet at dawn and dusk. Their only companion is Koan, the commune’s former leader, who still exerts a malignant control over their daily rituals. But when one of the previous inhabitants returns, everything Anna and Adam thought they knew to be true is thrown into question. Redder Days sounds just as unsettling and uncompromising as Follow Me To Ground and it will be very interesting to see what Rainsford has done in this second novel.
With Beckettian sparseness, Line is a work of speculative fiction that pushes the boundaries of high concept writing. It promises to touch on many of the pressing issues of our turbulent world: migration and the refugee crisis, big data and the erosion of democracy, climate change, colonialism, economic exploitation, social conformity and religious fanaticism. Willard, his mother and his girlfriend Nyla have spent their entire lives in waiting in the Line where daily survival is dictated by the ultimate imperative: obey the rules, or you will lose your place. But everything changes the day Willard’s mother dies and he finds an incomprehensible book hidden among her few belongings.