It’s been announced that Sebastian Barry will be the new Laureate for Irish fiction for the next three years, hailing what he called the current ‘golden age for prose writing in Ireland’.
The popular author of many books including Birdsong (US – UK) and Days Without End (US – UK) will take over the role from Anne Enright and begins his time as Laureate from 2018-2021 later this month. It’s not just about the honour of being laureate either, part of the role is to inspire a new generation of writers, promote Irish literature internationally and encourage the public to choose Irish fiction.
Speaking at the Laureate ceremony in Ireland, Barry said of the role
“It is no burden to assert, to as many people as possible in as many places as possible, that we live in a golden age of prose writing in Ireland. And I am really happy to be the ambassador of this rather stupendous reality for a few years. Writers reading their own work can make an illuminating music and show something important about it in the very act of ‘singing’ it. I would like to pay homage to this during the course of my laureateship”.
The Laureate for Irish Fiction is supported by the Arts Council and is run in partnership with University College Dublin and New York University.
It’s likely we’ll be hearing a lot from the double Costa winning author during his laureateship and you can expect to hear about some other great Irish authors too.
In August four authors were shortlisted, Haruki Murakami of Japan, who soon withdrew himself from the competition, Vietnamese-Canadian writer Kim Thúy; Maryse Condé of Guadeloupe; and British author Neil Gaiman who is based in the USA.
The winners for each category will be announced on November 14th, but for now let’s take a look at those finalists and the books that made the final cut.
Last weekend at a glittering award ceremony the 2018 winner was announced as Hannah Lynn for her book The Afterlife of Walter Augustus. She was handed the award by celebrity judge Lorraine Kelly and will now receive a host of prizes and benefits.
The scandal first came to light last November when the Dagens Nyheter newspaper wrote of allegations by 18 different women all accusing Arnault of rape, sexual harassment, physical abuse and harassment over a period of more than 20 years. Eight of those women filed formal complaints however, all but one have been dropped due to lack of evidence or exceeding the statute of limitations.
The 72 yr old ‘photographer’ denies all charges and his lawyer has stated he will appeal if convicted.
We have that shortlist here so without further ado here are the books in the running for the 2018 Man Booker prize.
The 2018 winner will be announced on Tuesday 16th October, about a month from now in London’s Guildhall. The winning ceremony will be aired on the BBC and we’ll bring you news of that winner as soon as it breaks!