City of Bohane by Irish author Kevin Barry has won the 2013 International Impac Dublin Literary Award.
The award is organised by Dublin City Libraries, on behalf of Dublin City Council and sponsored by international management productivity company, Impac. Its €100,000 prize is the largest prize for a single novel published in English. The award receives its nominations from public libraries around the globe. Barry is from Limerick and lives in Sligo. He is the author of two award winning short story collections. City of Bohane is his first novel. The other shortlisted novels were The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq (France), Pure by Andrew Miller (UK), 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Japan), The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka (US), The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips (US), Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (US), From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón (Iceland), The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am by Kjersti Skomsvold (Norway), and Caesarion by Tommy Wieringa (The Netherlands). Barry is the third Irish author to win the prize. He follows Colm Tóibín who won in 2006 for The Master and Colum McCann in 2011 for Let the Great World Spin.
As a teacher I have never been fond of sublime questions.
What is truth? What is literature? When I think of the latter question I
content myself with the answer that a work of literature is a book I would
happily read twice. Or even more often. I read a crime novel only when I buy
one at the airport before a transatlantic flight, and I discard it on arrival.
But I can’t count how often I have read TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, WB Yeats’s Among School Children and Jane Austen’s Emma. Brahms, when Carmen was first produced in
Vienna, in 1876, went to see it 20 times.
http://www.masslive.com/living/index.ssf/2013/06/james_joyces_blooms_day_release_of_springfield_resident_michael_carneys_great_blasket_memoir_make_gr.html This weekend looms large in Irish literature, as Michael Lonergan, the Republic of Ireland’s Consul General to Boston, noted on a stop in Springfield. Internationally, June 16 is Bloom’s Day when venues around the world read James Joyce’s epic “Ulysses.” June 16, 1904 is the time frame of the somewhat autobiographical novel in which Leopold Bloom, the main character, takes the reader on a cerebral walkabout of Dublin that ends in an affirmation of love and life. Locally, June 15 is the state-side release date for Springfield area resident Michael Carney’s book, “From the Great Blasket to America: The Last Memoir by an Islander,” written with son-in-law Gerald Hayes. The event brought Lonergan to the campus of Elms College, in Chicopee, where the theater in Alumnae Library was packed in the morning with attentive listeners - some with similar heritage - to pay tribute to Carney and the Great Blasket’s contribution to Gaelic-Irish literature. Carney released his book last month in Ireland during a much celebrated event at The Blasket Island Centre in Dunquin, County Kerry, a center that he helped fund through the establishment of a foundation. Carney’s son and three daughters and their families were all in attendance, and accompanied him on the ferry boat for the mile-journey to the Great Blasket, where Carney was raised on the rugged island that is no longer inhabited. While there were few amenities on the island, a fact that brought tragedy to Carney’s own family, there was a rich cultural and communal life rooted in the Irish language. In time, scholars from the top universities in the British Isles came to study and record the life of the islanders, whose legendary authors writing in Gaelic include Peig Sayers, Muiris O Suilleabhain and Tomas O Criomhthain. Carney writes about these authors in his memoir as well as the island’s way of life. As the oldest living Blasket native and veteran advocate for its heritage, he is treated as a national treasure in Ireland, and was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in Celtic literature from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, in 2009. Carney’s abilities as an intelligent and engaging storyteller are also evident in a video interview that is part of “The Irish Legacy: Immigration and Assimilation in the Connecticut Valley,” a current exhibit at the Wood Museum of Springfield History. His reference to the Great Blasket as an island of conversationalists and philosophers, where people survived by endurance and getting along with each other, offers insight into the speaker, still sturdy and well framed at 92, as well. Carney, who settled in the Hungry Hill section of Springfield in 1948, worked in Dublin for a number of years after the Great Blasket was evacuated in 1952. His book can be purchased online at www.collinspress.ie. Other area authors who have written about their Irish heritage include James Francis Cahillane, Carole O’Malley Gaunt, Kevin O’Hara, Sister of St. Joseph of Springfield Judith Kappenman, the late Judge Daniel M. Keyes, and Joan Morris Reilly.
On 10 July 2013, Sotheby's London will write a new chapter in literary history,
when it offers one of the most important 20th century working manuscripts
remaining in private hands - Samuel Beckett's first novel, "Murphy".
Beckett, “the last modernist”, was the author of a body of work steeped in the
western literary tradition but with its own highly distinctive voice.
Handwritten in six exercise books between August 1935 and June 1936, in Dublin
and London whilst Beckett was undergoing psychoanalysis, the manuscript,
initially entitled "Sasha Murphy" is heavily revised throughout - the
hundreds of cancellations and revisions providing an eloquent witness to
Beckett's struggle to give form to his artistic vision.
The notebooks are also full
of lively doodles hinting at the author's preoccupations during this period,
including recognisable portraits of James Joyce, Beckett himself, and Charlie
Chaplin (later an influence on the tramps in Waiting for Godot), as well as
astrological symbols and musical notations. The centrepiece in Sotheby’s sale
of English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations, the
manuscript is estimated to realise £800,000 - £1.2 million.
Selley, Sotheby's Senior Specialist in Books and Manuscripts commented: “This
is unquestionably the most important manuscript of a complete novel by a modern
British or Irish writer to appear at auction for many decades. I have known
about the existence of this remarkable manuscript for a long time – as have a number
of others in the rare book business, and some Beckett scholars – but it has
only been glimpsed, tantalizingly, by a few chosen individuals during that
time. The notebooks contain almost infinite riches for all those – whether
scholars or collectors – interested in this most profound of modern writers,
who more than anyone else, perhaps, captures the essence of modern man. The
manuscript is capable of redefining Beckett studies for many years to come.”
novel is characterised by exuberant language and is the most comic of all
Beckett’s works, although it also has deep philosophical roots. The plot
concerns the eponymous Murphy’s attempts to find peace in the nothingness of
the “little world” of the mind without intrusion from the outside world. Spurred
on to find employment by his prostitute girlfriend, Murphy finds some
tranquillity working in an insane asylum before accidentally immolating himself
in his garret. Mostly set in shabby lodgings in London, with some chapters set
in Dublin (where a strange trio of characters start a fruitless search for
Murphy), this is the closest that Beckett ever came to a novel in the realist
manuscript provides a text that is substantially different from the printed
version of "Murphy" of 1938. It includes at least eight cancelled
versions of its famous opening sentence before it reached its final form (“The
sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.”) Beckett dated each
entry in the exercise books, giving a fascinating glimpse of his working
processes and the flows - and droughts - of his inspiration.
Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 it was, according to
the citation, “for his writing, which - in new forms for the novel and drama -
in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation." He produced a
body of work of extraordinary strangeness, which presents a world view of deep
pessimism, but blessed with a wonderful mordant humour.
Although dense and
demanding, his works speak powerfully to a remarkably wide audience of their
common human experience. Best known for "Waiting For Godot", his
stage play of 1953, Beckett’s writing emerged from the intellectual ferment
that gave rise to existentialism and absurdism. His deep connections with the
inter-war avant-garde have led him to be characterised as “the last modernist”.
His greatest early influence was Joyce, with whom he became friendly in Paris
in the late 1920s. He helped Joyce with research, took dictation for him,
contributed an essay to the 1929 collection of essays on "Work in
Progress", and even became romantically entangled with Joyce’s daughter
In the early 30s Beckett struggled to overcome Joyce’s influence and
find his own voice; or, as Beckett himself put it in a 1931 letter, “I vow I
will get over J. J. ere I die. Yessir”.
many admirers have always struggled to explain the power of his work,
contrasting the austere beauty of his language with the base ugliness of his
subject-matter – cheap boarding rooms and mental asylums, tramps, dustbins, the
decayed and the dying – and his pessimistic vision of destitution and
buy his goods, hook, line, and sinker,” declared Harold Pinter, “because he
leaves no stone unturned and no maggot lonely. He brings forth a body of
beauty. His work is beautiful.”
Kevin Barry wins €100,000 Impac prize for literature
Bohane by Irish author Kevin Barry has won the 2013 International Impac Dublin
award is organised by Dublin City Libraries, on behalf of Dublin City Council
and sponsored by international management productivity company, Impac. Its
€100,000 prize is the largest prize for a single novel published in English.
The award receives its nominations from public libraries around the globe.
is from Limerick and lives in Sligo. He is the author of two award winning
short story collections. City of Bohane is his first novel.
"I’m thrilled to see an Irish author of such immense talent take home this
year’s award,” said Lord Mayor of Dublin, Naoise Ó Muirí, who announced the
winner at a ceremony in Dublin's Mansion House last night. “City of Bohane is a
vivid, atmospheric portrayal of a city in the West of Ireland set in the future
but mired in the past. The highly original cast of characters are at once
flamboyant and malevolent, speaking in a vernacular like no other.”
winning novel was up against 153 other titles, nominated by 160 libraries from
44 countries. It was first published in the UK by Jonathan Cape. . It is open
to novels written in any language and by authors of any nationality, provided
the work has been published in English or English translation in the specified
time period as outlined in the rules and conditions for the year.
other shortlisted novels were The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq
(France), Pure by Andrew Miller (UK), 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Japan), The
Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka (US), The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur
Phillips (US), Swamplandia! by Karen Russell (US), From the Mouth of the Whale
by Sjón (Iceland), The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am by Kjersti Skomsvold
(Norway), and Caesarion by Tommy Wieringa (The Netherlands).
is the third Irish author to win the prize. He follows Colm Tóibín who won in
2006 for The Master and Colum McCann in 2011 for Let the Great World Spin.
fact that this award originates with the libraries is what makes it very
special for me – libraries are where we learn that we can live our lives
through books,” said Barry.
Barry's Ireland of 2053 is a place you may not want to be alive in but you'll
certainly relish reading about,” said the judges. “This is not a future of
shiny technology but one in which history turns in circles and quirks an
eyebrow at the idea of 'progress'.”
Bohane was nominated by Cork, Dublin and Limerick City Libraries.