This year marks the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses, and to celebrate the occasion, the Embassy of Ireland, London, is offering a limited number of free copies of Joyce’s classic to the Irish World’s readers.
Speaking about the giveaway, Ambassador Adrian O’Neill said: “Both charismatic and enigmatic, James Joyce’s Ulysses has puzzled and beguiled us for a hundred years. Published in the year that also saw the establishment of an independent Irish State, the book has assumed a position of totemic importance in Irish and world literary heritage. This is particularly true in Dublin, Joyce’s home city, which Ulysses brings to such vivid, painstaking and humorous life. In this centenary year, I would encourage readers to get involved with some of the first-rate Bloomsday events on offer around Britain, and maybe even don a boater hat, or (for the braver among us) tuck into a grilled mutton kidney. To those who may not have read Ulysses, or who have long cast it aside, I am delighted to invite you to mark its centenary by entering our book giveaway competition or by visiting your local bookshop.”
The Ambassador and Aisling O’Neill will host a reception at the Embassy on Bloomsday, this Thursday 16 June. MC’d by actress Lisa Dwan, the reception will feature readings from Sinéad Cusack, Aoife Duffin, Jeremy Irons, Trevor Kaneswaran and Eileen O’Higgins.
It will also see the premiere of a special new musical piece, Sirensong. Composed by saxophonist Robert Finegan, the setting of text from the ‘Sirens’ episode of Ulysses will be performed on the night by Finegan, along with French soprano Clara Barbier Serrano, and British-born Chinese collaborative pianist, Tia Ling.
The Embassy is also pleased to partner with the BBC and British Library to screen Adam Low’s new feature-length documentary, James Joyce’s Ulysses on 13 June, which will air on the BBC later this year.
Readers can avail of a free copy of Ulysses by sending their full name and address to IrishEmbassyLondon@dfa.ie.
Information on events worldwide marking the centenary of Ulysses’ publication is available on ulysses100.ie.