Colm Tóibín and Eimear McBride to lead ICC Literary Festival

Colm Toibin.

The Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith have announced the programme of their upcoming literary festival which features leading interviews with leading Irish authors such as Colm Tóibín and Eimear McBride.

Colm Tóibín is the award winning and critically acclaimed author of novels such as Blackwater Lightship, The Master and The Testament of Mary, all three of which were nominated for The Booker Prize.

His novel Brooklyn was also adapted into a major Hollywood film starring Saoirse Ronan.

Born in Liverpool to Irish parents, Eimear McBride enjoyed enormous critical success for her debut novel, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing which attracted an extraordinary number of awards, including The Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, The Goldsmiths Prize, The Folio Prize, The Bailey Women’s Prize for Fiction, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award and The Desmond Elliot Prize.

Eimear McBride.

The festival will also honour London-based great Irish author Edna O’Brien who will be the subject of a documentary premiere.

Entitled A Celebration of Contemporary Irish Writing, the festival runs from Friday 15- Sunday 17 October and will be opened on Friday evening by the Irish Ambassador Adrian O’Neill, who will launch a programme of live interviews, events and readings.

Celebrated writer Edna O’Brien.

Other internationally acclaimed, award-winning Irish authors taking part include Dermot Bolger, Glenn Patterson, Carlo Gébler, Susan McKay, Eoin McNamee, Mary Costello and Séamas O’Reilly.

Dermot Bolger’s most recent published work, Secrets Never Told, was his first collection of short stories, one of which, Supermarket Flowers, was shortlisted for Short Story of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards 2020.

He has held positions such as Writer Fellow in Trinity College, Playwright in Association with the Abbey Theatre and Writer in Residence at the National Museum of Ireland.

Glenn Patterson is the author of 11 highly acclaimed novels, including Burning Your Own, Fat Lad, That Which Was, The Mill for Grinding Old People Young, Gull and Where Are We Now?

He also co-wrote the screenplay of the film Good Vibrations (2013), about the Belfast music scene of the 1970s.

Carlo Gebler is the author of nearly 30 works including novels, short stories, children’s fiction, travel writing, historical pieces, plays, screenplays and a memoir.

He is currently Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing at The Oscar Wilde Centre of Irish Writing, Trinity College, Dublin.

He is also Edna O’Brien’s son.

Susan McKay was one of the founders of the Belfast Rape Crisis Centre and her 2005 book Without Fear – 25 Years of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre told the story of the organisation.

Her 2008 book Bear in Mind These Dead was shortlisted for the Ewart Biggs prize.

Eoin McNamee is a novelist and scriptwriter.

The 1998 film Resurrection Man, starring Stuart Townsend, was written by him and based on his own book.

Resurrection Man was loosely based on the story of the Shankill Butchers.

He has contributed to the television series An Bronntanas, Red Rock, Hinterland and Vikings: Valhalla.

Galway author Mary Costello’s short story collection, The China Factory was nominated for The Guardian First Book Award.

Her critically acclaimed debut novel, Academy Street (2014), which has been translated into several languages, was named the overall Irish Book of the Year in 2014, won The Irish Novel of the Year Award and was serialized on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime.

Seamas O’Reilly has been lauded this year for his bestselling memoir, Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?

In it, he tells of growing up with ten siblings and his widowed father in 90’s rural Derry against a background of The Troubles.

The festival will conclude on Sunday afternoon with the premiere of Sé Merry Doyle’s documentary about the centre’s esteemed patron and well known author Edna O’Brien.

Edna O’Brien boasts a literary career spanning over six decades since the publication of her ground-breaking debut novel, The Country Girls in 1960.

Dr Anne Goudsmit, a member of the ICC Board, says: “We are looking forward to welcoming this exceptional line-up of successful Irish writers and their interviewers as a continuation of our 25th anniversary celebrations.

“Whatever your interest is: memoir, literary crime, fictionalised biography, journalism, essay writing or just a cracking good read, do come along and join us.

“I am confident you will find something entertaining, amusing, stimulating and thought-provoking in our weekend programme.

A Celebration of Contemporary Irish Writing runs Friday 15- Sunday 17 October.

For more information, click here.

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