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#1 Robert Ballagh on Beckett, Paisley and Prince Philip

City of Books

Release Date: 01/21/2020

#35 Learwife - Hatching and Hoping show art #35 Learwife - Hatching and Hoping

City of Books

“I had to create her out of nothing,” says JR Thorp of her debut novel Learwife, which explores the untold story of King Lear’s wife.

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#34 Carlo Gébler on the Power of Greek Myths show art #34 Carlo Gébler on the Power of Greek Myths

City of Books

Famously, King Oedipus killed his father and married his mother. That's what everyone knows about the Greek myth. But Carlo Gébler sets out to humanise the story.

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#33 BIG TOP, BIG DREAMS - SARAH WEBB show art #33 BIG TOP, BIG DREAMS - SARAH WEBB

City of Books

A chance meeting with a circus professor fired Sarah Webb’s imagination and led to her latest novel.

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#32 Myth-Making Michael Collins show art #32 Myth-Making Michael Collins

City of Books

Michael Collins is the the Irish Civil War's most famous casualty but there is a lot of “what-if-ery”about him, says Ireland’s best-known historian Diarmaid Ferriter.

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#31 The Road Less Travelled show art #31 The Road Less Travelled

City of Books

Playwright Rosaleen McDonagh talks about her activism, disability campaigning, journey through adult education which led to a Phd, and weaving together Traveller and settled culture, forging an identity from them.

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#30 Paul Perry's Eden Gone Wrong show art #30 Paul Perry's Eden Gone Wrong

City of Books

A delicate, rare bloom which is “like the blood diamonds of the flower world” and fetches millions of euro is the subject of poet Paul Perry’s first solo novel.

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#29 In Praise of Difficult Women show art #29 In Praise of Difficult Women

City of Books

Violet Gibson, an Irishwoman who attempted to shoot Mussolini, is a character in Evelyn Conlon’s short story collection, Moving About The Place.

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#28 Lisa McInerney's Riotous Revelations show art #28 Lisa McInerney's Riotous Revelations

City of Books

From social change to gender change - all bases are covered in this wide-ranging conversation with one of Ireland's most sparkling writers.

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#27 Look! It's A Woman Writer! show art #27 Look! It's A Woman Writer!

City of Books

A new collection of essays which reflect on the perils and compulsions of authorship, the vagaries of success and failure - and what counts as either.

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#26 Nora Barnacle - Joyce's Muse show art #26 Nora Barnacle - Joyce's Muse

City of Books

At the age of 20, Nora Barnacle left everything she knew behind to share the adventure of a lifetime with James Joyce.

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More Episodes

In this episode, artist Robert Ballagh talks about why Samuel Beckett thought he kept him waiting for breakfast, how his postage stamp design infuriated Northern Irish political leader the Rev Ian Paisley, befriending Nobel scientist James Watson and getting on the wrong side of Britain’s Prince Philip. He also discusses his autobiography A Reluctant Memoir, published by Head of Zeus

Later in the episode, writer Mary Costello takes a tour of the iconic James Joyce Tower in Dublin where Joyce set the opening chapter of his masterpiece Ulysses. During her walkabout in the 200-year-old building, she explains why she is drawn back again and again to Joyce’s work and why her latest novel The River Capture is inspired by him.

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A monthly podcast supported by Dublin UNESCO City of Literature in association with the Museum of Literature Ireland (MOLI).

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Presented & Edited by Martina Devlin

Produced by Steve Byrne

Music by Daragh Dukes