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#1 Robert Ballagh on Beckett, Paisley and Prince Philip

City of Books

Release Date: 01/21/2020

#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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#25 Rónán Hession on Why Kindness is King show art #25 Rónán Hession on Why Kindness is King

City of Books

“One of the brilliant things about books is that you can buy a book by the very best writers and if it still costs a tenner – it doesn’t cost any more than bad writing,” says Rónán Hession.

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#24 John Banville Fades To Black show art #24 John Banville Fades To Black

City of Books

John Banville, who has killed off his own Benjamin Black pen name, is disturbed by explicit depictions of violence in popular culture.

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#23 Neil Jordan and the Runaway Slave show art #23 Neil Jordan and the Runaway Slave

City of Books

Oscar-winning filmmaker Neil Jordan runs parallel careers as a director and novelist, and his latest book is his most cinematic.

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#22 Danielle McLaughlin Finding Herself show art #22 Danielle McLaughlin Finding Herself

City of Books

“As someone prone to get lost in the darker currents of my own head I’ve found it healthier to get lost in a book,” says Danielle McLaughlin.

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#21 Louise O'Neill on Why She's a Warrior not a Princess show art #21 Louise O'Neill on Why She's a Warrior not a Princess

City of Books

“The number 63 has come up for me time and time again in very strange ways,” says writer Louise O’Neill. “I have put it in each of my books."

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#20 Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin's Poetic Licence Earned show art #20 Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin's Poetic Licence Earned

City of Books

Poet Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin talks about a time when books were banned in Ireland.

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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