Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring, launched today (27th February) the programme for the 2019 Dublin: One City One Book which this year features The Country Girls Trilogy by Edna O’Brien. The Country Girls Trilogy joins a long list of illustrious titles as this year’s featured book in the Dublin: One City One Book Festival. Dublin One City One Book is a Dublin City Council initiative, led by Dublin City Public Libraries, which encourages everyone to read a book connected with the capital city during the month of April every year.The Country Girls Trilogy, published by Faber & Faber, is introduced by Eimear McBride and includes The Country Girls and its sequels The Lonely Girl and Girls in Their Married Bliss, which changed the temperature of Irish literature in the 1960s and inspired generations of readers and writers. The passion, artistry and courage of Edna O’Brien’s vision in these novels continue to resonate into the 21st century.Speaking at the launch in Dublin’s Mansion House, the Lord Mayor remarked:“Edna O’Brien is one of Ireland’s most talented, treasured and most read authors, so I am very proud that our capital city is honouring her talent and legacy by selecting her much acclaimed work ‘The Country Girls Trilogy’ as the ‘Dublin One City One Book’ choice this year. Dublin City Council’s initiative is a creative and inclusive way to get all our citizens reading. With copies of The Country Girls Trilogy available to borrow for free throughout our public library network, it just remains for the people of Dublin to embrace and enjoy this great book which I know they will.”The month-long festival will feature dramatised readings, a new Dublin City Libraries exhibition banned books titled Evil Literature, talks on censorship, women’s roles and Irish society in 1950s and ‘60s, coming of age novels, music performances, film screenings, documentaries, workshops and seminars. The four public library services in the Dublin area will be hosting events as well as organisations such as Irish Writers Centre, The New Theatre, IFI, Trinity College, UCD and National Library.Edna O’Brien said:"I worked in Dublin as an apprentice pharmacist from 1948 to 1952, so it's where I first encountered literature and set out on the very secret and profane matter of writing The Country Girls Trilogy.""I never dreamed the Trilogy would last so long and make it to this winning post. I am delighted and hope for new readers who won’t have to hide it under the bedcovers as they did in the sixties and onwards..... Dublin has given me longevity.” The flagship event of this year’s festival is An Evening With Edna, an evening of music, readings and discussion in The Round Room, Mansion House on Wednesday 24th April. Edna O’Brien will be interviewed about her enormous contribution to world literature by writer Colum McCann. Singer Moya Brennan and harpist Cormac de Barra will play some of her favourite music and selected excerpts from The Country Girls Trilogy will be read by actor Seána Kerslake, star of the new movie The Hole in the Ground. This event is free but booking is essential at www.dublinonecityonebook.ie/programme Dublin’s acting City Librarian, Brendan Teeling invited Dubliners to share in the City’s celebration of the books, saying:“We work hard every year to choose a book that will capture the imagination of the people of Dublin, of all ages and walks of life. Exquisitely written, moving, humorous, full of compelling characters, and still as relevant as when it was written in the early 1960s, I know that The Country Girls Trilogy will prove a rewarding experience for all who engage with Dublin One City One Book 2019. In Edna O’Brien’s home county of Clare, book clubs affiliated with Clare County Libraries will be reading the book during April and hosting their own event to honour Edna O’Brien. RTÉ Radio One’s The Book on One will feature The Country Girls during the month of April. A new adaptation by Edna O’Brien of The Country Girls runs at the Abbey Theatre from 23rd February to 6th April before going on a national tour. Faber & Faber have produced a special edition of the trilogy for the Festival (Photo Below), and Lee Brackstone, O’Brien’s editor at Faber & Faber, remarked:‘In 1960 Edna O’Brien detonated a literary bomb, the reverberations of which continue to work their way through the culture and the Irish diaspora. The Country Girls is one of the beacons of radical 20th century literature.’Printed programme of events can be picked up in all our Dublin City Public Library Branches and bookshops across Dublin. The Country Girls Trilogy is available to borrow from libraries, can be reserved online, downloaded as an eBook from the library’s free Borrowbox app, and buy in bookshops. It is available in audio book format and has been produced in Braille by the National Council for the Blind of Ireland.There are a whole host of events to mark the One City One Book festival, highlights of the programme include;An Evening With Edna. The Round Room, Mansion House. Wednesday 24th AprilEdna O’Brien will be interviewed about her enormous contribution to world literature by writer Colum McCann. Singer Moya Brennan and harpist Cormac de Barra will play some of her favourite music and selected excerpts from the Country Girls will be read by Seána Kerslake at this very special event. This event is free but booking is essential at www.dublinonecityonebook.ie/programmeEvil Literature: Banned Books Exhibition. Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse St, Dublin 2. From 3rd April to 31st May 2019. Launch and Event Wednesday 3rd April.This exhibition of banned books is based on the collections of Dublin City Reading Room and Dublin City Archives. Following the official launch on 3rd April there will be a discussion on the history of book censorship in Ireland with Dr Margaret Kelleher (UCD), Tom Quinlan, Keeper of the National Archives, and historian Donal Fallon. Chaired by Madeleine Keane, Sunday Independent Literary Editor.Free. Booking on EventBrite for talk.Coming of Age Novels. Dublin City Library & Archive, Pearse St. Thursday 11th April.Join authors Catherine Dunne and Alan McMonagle to discuss The Country Girls Trilogy and why coming of age stories are so powerfully resonant for readers. Chaired by Michael G. Cronin, lecturer in English at Maynooth University.Free. Booking on Eventbrite.ieGirls in Their Married Bliss on Stage. The New Theatre, Temple Bar. 24th to 27th April.A selection of excerpts from the final book in Edna O’Brien’s acclaimed trilogy. Romantic Baba and pragmatic Baba, now both married, experience the trials and troubles of love and passion against the drop of 1960s London.Box Office: www.thenewtheatre.com Tickets €8/€6Irish Writers Centre Workshops April 13th and 18th.The Irish Writers Centre is playing homage to The Country Girls Trilogy and 1950s Ireland with bespoke offerings arising from themes in the books. Workshops will cover such topics as: researching social history for authentic writing, developing a character over time and the tricky task of writing sensual stories with the uncompromising flair of Edna O’Brien. Plus a panel discussion focussing on class and urban/rural divides in Irish society. Featuring acclaimed Irish writers including Catherine Dunne and Dermot Bolger.Free. Booking at www.irishwriterscentre.ieThe Country Girls at the Abbey Theatre. 23rd February to 6th April.Edna O’Brien revisits her era-defining debut novel in a new stage adaptation of The Country Girls at the Abbey Theatre. Directed by Graham McLaren. After the Dublin run, The Country Girls will go on a national tour.www.abbeytheatre.ie or Box Office 01-8787222Full Programme can be viewed here and event details on www.dublinonecityonebook.ieAboutThe BookWhen The Country Girls, Edna O’Brien’s first novel, appeared in 1960, it predated and anticipated the feminist revolution. It stood out and stood alone, upturning every category. There was little to compare with it. The Country Girls grew over time to what we now know as The Country Girls Trilogy, encompassing the title volume, a second novel Girl with Green Eyes, published in 1962, and Girls in Their Married Bliss, published in 1964. It is given to few to write their most important works early on. Quite simply, The Country Girls is a twentieth-century literary masterpiece which anticipates and puts into effect a feminist revolution all of its own. It tells the story of two young girls from Country Clare, Cait Brady and Baba Brennan, and tracks them from childhood through the vicissitudes of adolescence, marriage, emigration to Dublin and then to London and the terrible reckonings of adult life. Cait, the timid romanticist, who unfailingly falls for the wrong kind of man and suffers accordingly, is contrasted with Baba who is more hard-nosed, cynical, and pragmatic. The Country Girls Trilogy is outstanding because of its stylistic variation and the uncanny accuracy of its vision: each of the novels is tonally quite different but each achieves the same level of precision and insight into the social and emotional conditions of lives in 1950s rural Ireland and in London in the 1960s.The AuthorEdna O’Brien’s first novel, The Country Girls, was published in 1960. Since then, she has published prolifically across numerous genres. Her works includes 18 novels, 9 collections of short stories, 4 plays, biographies of James Joyce and Byron, a cultural history of Ireland, a memoir, and a volume of poetry. Edna O’Brien would be revered if she had written nothing other than The Country Girls Trilogy. However, she has continued to produce distinctive and engaging novels and stories that particularly follow the course of women’s lives and capture the emotional fabric of their worlds with unfailing accuracy and insight. Edna O’Brien has changed the fabric of the Irish novel by widening its circumference in enduring ways. She has used her breath-taking inventiveness, creative audacity, distinctive vision, and unsurpassed stylistic precision to give voice to female experience and sexuality and to bring a myriad of feminist themes into the ambit of the novel. Her fiction is above all to be relished for its truth, its wit, its emotional scale and depth, and the incisiveness of its style. To read Edna O’Brien is to make the acquaintance of a writer with a drive to represent the modern world in all of its uncomfortable and unlovely but eminently human aspects and of an artist besotted with the English language which she deploys with fastidious care. Edna O’Brien is the recipient of many awards, including the Irish PEN Lifetime Achievement Award, the American National Arts Gold Medal, the Frank O’Connor Prize and the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. Born and raised in the west of Ireland, she has lived in London for many years. Dublin One City One BookPrevious books featured are: At Swim Two Birds by Flann O’ Brien (2006); A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry (2007); Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (2008); Dracula by Bram Stoker (2009); The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde (2010; Ghost Light by Joseph O’Connor (2011); Dubliners by James Joyce (2012); Strumpet City by James Plunkett (2013); If Ever You Go: a map of Dublin in poetry and song edited by Pat Boran and Gerard Smyth (2014); The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle (2015); Fallen by Lia Mills (2016); Echoland by Joe Joyce (2017) and The Long Gaze Back, An Anthology of Irish Women Writers edited by Sinéad Gleeson (2018).
This spring children in Dublin are urged to keep their eyes peeled for mysterious aliens at their local library as Bumpfizzle – the Best on Planet Earth by Patricia Forde, has been chosen for the 2019 Citywide Reading Campaign for Children.Bumpfizzle is an alien, sent to Earth from Planet Plonk on a research mission. Or is he really just a ten-year-old boy who is feeling a bit disgruntled at all the attention his parents are lavishing on The Baby? It is up to readers to make up their own minds. The author, Patricia Forde, has published numerous books for children in English and in Irish, two plays, in addition to several television drama series for children and teenagers. She has worked as a writer on both English and Irish language soap operas. In another life, she was a primary school teacher and the artistic director of Galway Arts Festival.The illustrator Elīna Brasliņa is an illustrator from Riga, Latvia. She has illustrated fifteen titles to date, most of them picturebooks, children’s books and young adult novels. Her work has been nominated for many local awards as well as the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal. She has twice received the Zelta Abele Award for Book Design, as well as the Janis Baltvilks Baltic Sea Region Award (2017).This is the eighth year of the city wide reading initiative. Previous books selected for the Citywide Reading Campaign in previous years include; Arthur Quinn and the World Serpent by Alan Early, The Nightmare Club series featuring Annie Graves, The Powers by Kevin Stevens, Danger is Everywhere by David O’Doherty and Chris Judge, The Book of Learning by E.R. Murray, Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden and last year’s book was Making Millions by Erika McGann. The aim of the campaign is to encourage children to read for pleasure. There will be author visits to many Dublin City Council branch libraries as well as city-centre based events in bookshops, the National Library of Ireland and Dublin City Gallery – Hugh Lane. The campaign ends with fun events based on the book, as part of the St. Patrick’s Festival’s in Merrion Square. Copies of the book are available in all Dublin City Public Libraries as well as in all good bookshops. Dublin City Council Library stock can be borrowed from libraries nationwide.Key Events;• Author visits to Dublin City Public Library branches between January and March. Class visits booked locally at branch libraries.• Cabra Library, Navan Road, Dublin 7, Tuesday 29th January at 3.30pm (Booking Essential; [email protected] or ph. 8691414).• The National Library of Ireland, Kildare St, Dublin 2. Thursday 7th February at 10am (Booking required: Contact Bríd O’Sullivan [email protected])• Dublin City Gallery - The Hugh Lane, Charlemont House, Parnell Square North, Dublin 1 Saturday 16th March 11am-12pmAuthor Patricia Forde says: “I am delighted and very excited that Bumpfizzle The Best on Planet Earth is the 2019 Citywide Read. Bumpfizzle is an alien- which may attract some funny business from other planets - but I think Dublin children are up for that. I sincerely hope so. We may need heroes before this is over.”(Dublin City Public Library Staff, Patricia Forde and Kids at Launch)(Photo Credit Fennell Photography)You can download a Reading Guide to the book, suitable for teachers and parents at http://www.dublincityofliterature.ie/projects/citywide-read/The campaign is run by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature and Dublin City Council Public Libraries, in partnership with Little Island Books, and is funded by Dublin City Council’s Public Library Service and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
Ardmhéara Bhaile Átha Cliath Mícheál Mac Donncha, launches the 2018 Dublin: One City One Book programme of events today on the eve of International Women’s Day.The Long Gaze Back – An Anthology of Irish Women Writers edited by Sinéad Gleeson, joins a long list of illustrious titles as this year’s featured book in the Dublin: One City One Book Festival. As suggested by the title, this book is rooted in the present with emerging writers, while looking back to the flag bearers of Irish women’s writing.The month-long festival will feature dramatised readings, music, song and poetry, discussions with the featured authors, walking tours, talks on topics such as the tradition of women’s short fiction in Ireland, gender balance and anthologies, writing workshops, exhibitions and much more. Many of the events are free. Check out Dublin: One City, One Book events on in our libraries.The flagship event of this year’s festival is ‘Our Stories Ourselves’ an evening of music, readings and discussion in The Great Hall, Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Wednesday 25th April. Madeleine Keane will chair a discussion panel comprising Anne Enright, Lisa McInerney, Christine Dwyer Hickey and Sinéad Gleeson. Actor Cathy Belton will read excerpts from the book and critically-acclaimed musician and singer Lisa Hannigan will perform. This event is free but booking is essential at https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/our-stories-ourselves-tickets-43606189286Speaking at the launch an tArdmhéara said “It is very fitting that this year’s book choice for the Dublin: One City One Book Festival is an anthology of Irish women writers. In the year in which we celebrate the centenary of the Suffragette movement, it is important to highlight women writers’ contribution to the arts, both historically and at the present time. The book spans four centuries of women’s writing and brings voices from Ireland’s past together with contemporary writers.”Sinéad Gleeson said: “I’m thrilled and delighted on behalf of the 30 writers, past and present, that The Long Gaze Back is this year’s Dublin: One City One Book choice. Anthologies are a platform for telling multiple stories and so many of the writers and their work included here are intrinsically connected to Dublin and its people. The book arose from a desire to amplify the voices of women who write, and being chosen for Dublin: One City One Book will help to introduce these talented writers to all kinds of new readers.”Dublin City Librarian Margaret Hayes added “This collection of stories embraces writers of the past, present and of the future, an anthology of diversity and talent. With themes universal and contemporary, and settings urban and rural, it includes some of our best writers in a genre much loved by the Irish reader and storyteller. Dublin City Libraries wishes to showcase the full catalogue of these women writers, many of whom will be well known to readers but others who may have slipped a little from view and who deserve to be looked at anew.”The Long Gaze Back, a collection of thirty stories from writers past and present, from the 18th Century to now is available to borrow from libraries and to buy in bookshops. Taken together, the collected works of these writers reveal an enrapturing, unnerving, and piercingly beautiful mosaic of a lively literary landscape. This year's Festival, which runs during the month of April, offers an opportunity for readers to engage with the book, and the city, through music, readings, walks and talks at various venues.Programme details are now available online. Pick up a copy of the printed programme of events in libraries and bookshops across Dublin.The Festival is organised by Dublin City Council’s Public Library Service. Dublin: One City One Book is supported by New Island Books, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and RTÉ Supporting The Arts.