Countdown begins for Bantry's Literary Festival



THE countdown to the West Cork Literary Festival has begun with writers confirmed for this year including Jonathan Miller, Ben Okri, Blake Morrison, Karen Joy Fowler and Jennifer Johnston.

The festival, which runs from July 6-12 in Bantry, also features Anne Michaels, Paula Meehan, Philip Hoare, Eimear McBride, Alberto Manguel, Carmen Bugan, a Literary Brunch with John Kelly, and many other special events.

Another highlight will be the arrival of the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Prize for best American novel 2014, when Karen Joy Fowler reads from We Are Completely Beside Ourselves on the Friday.

Author of the best-selling novel The Jane Austen Book Club, which was made into a film of the same name, Karen is also giving a Masterclass as part of the Short Story and Flash Fiction workshop earlier that day.

Anne Michaels’ debut novel Fugitive Pieces garnered instant international attention and was awarded the Orange Prize, The Guardian Fiction Prize and the Lannan Fiction Award.

She will be joined by poet Paula Meehan for what promises to be a memorable and fascinating evening on July 8, as they read from their work, and talk about their writing lives, collaboration with other artists, and writing in different genres.

Donal Walsh’s extraordinary message about living life to the full first came to international attention when, aged sixteen, he wrote a letter that spoke out against an epidemic of suicide among young Irish people.

Donal was dying of cancer but still found time to inspire others. On Friday evening July 11, Fionnbar Walsh, the author of Donal’s Mountain: The Story of the Son who Inspired a Nation, will be in conversation with Sue Leonard.

On Monday afternoon, July 7, Alice Taylor, one of Ireland’s most popular authors, will speak about gardening and the unbelievable pleasure of ‘simply digging the earth’.

Alice Taylor’s books include To School Through the Fields, An Irish Country Diary and many more. To School Through the Fields, first published in 1988, was an immediate success, becoming the biggest selling book ever published in Ireland.

Christopher Somerville, renowned travel writer and walker, will talk about his 800-mile journey from Malin Head to Cape Clear Island. Another well-travelled writer, Andy Kershaw, brings his popular, and hilarious, one-man show to Bantry after sell-out performances at Literary Festivals including Hay and Ways With Words. Former professional horse trainer, Rupert Isaacson, will present his new book, The Long Ride Home, follow-up to The Horse Boy, the story of a horseback journey across Mongolia in a quest to find healing for his autistic son.

Booking on, Telephone: 027 52788/9 LoCall: 1850 788 789.

(Pictured above is Carol Drinkwater)

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