We asked the small community of independent and specialist Irish and British publishers to tell us about titles in the pipeline for 2021. Here’s what they told us about their books to watch out for this year
Slash and Burn
By Claudia Hernández (translated by Julia Sanches). January
A fascinating portrait of the complex aftermath of civil war. This stunning, subtle novel centres on a female ex-guerilla in a Central American country, but the experiences of loyalty, betrayal and deep humanity will resonate anywhere.
This Is How We Come Back Stronger
Edited by the Feminist Book Society. March 23rd
An essential anthology of 40 leading feminist voices responding to, and imagining ways out of, the global crisis of the past year. Featuring Laura Bates, Fatima Bhutto, Sara Collins, Layla Saad, Lisa Taddeo and many more.
Look! It’s a Woman Writer! Irish Literary Feminisms, 1970-2020
Edited by Éilís Ní Dhuibhne. April
A fascinating collection of essays starts off a busy year for Arlen House, Ireland’s oldest press specialising in equality and diversity. Included are debut poetry collections by Pauline Bewick, Conor Bowman, Mairéad Donnellan, Úna Ní Cheallaigh, Margaret Nohilly and Breda Spaight; drama by Deirdre Brennan, Órfhlaith Foyle, Séamus Scanlon and Mark Richardson; and short fiction by Tanya Farrelly, Rosemary Jenkinson and David Butler. In addition, the classic literature series (established by Eavan Boland in 1980) continues with rare novels by Kate O’Brien, Annie Smithson, Katherine Conway, Patricia O’Connor, Emily Lawless, Anna Maria Hall, Lia Mills, Sheila Fitzgerald and Catherine Dunne.
I Want to Know That I Will Be Okay
By Deirdre Sullivan. May
A short-story collection from the acclaimed young-adult author Deirdre Sullivan (Tangleweed and Brine, Savage Her Reply), and the third book from Banshee Press (home of Banshee literary journal). The 14 unsettling tales include haunted houses, sinister imaginary friends and strange growths alongside the everyday experiences of Irish women’s lives: adolescent loneliness, difficult mothers, bad men, complicated family histories, pregnancy and motherhood, and, of course, hen parties. The collection has been several years in the making and includes A Scream Away from Someone, published in The Irish Times in 2014.
Blackstaff is 50 in 2021, so it’s a special year for us. Susan McKay’s Northern Protestants: On Shifting Ground, which appears in the spring, uses almost 100 interviews and incisive commentary to create a portrait of a surprisingly diverse community against the backdrop of social-justice movements, Brexit and the centenary of the foundation of the State. We also have a new collection of short stories, Moving About the Place, from the brilliant Evelyn Conlon. And there are more short stories in the autumn – from Jan Carson, Bernie McGill, Carlo Gébler and others – specially commissioned for a new anthology of strange stories from Northern Ireland, The Black Dreams. We’re hugely excited too about Stand Up, Speak Out, a memoir from the peace activist, human-rights defender and former politician Monica McWilliams, publishing in September.
By Rónán Hession. May 26th
His name was Joseph, but for years they had called him Panenka, a name that was his sadness and his story. Panenka has spent 25 years living with the disastrous mistakes of his past, which have made him an exile in his home town and cost him his dearest relationships. Now aged 50, Panenka begins to rebuild an improvised family life with his estranged daughter and her seven-year-old son and he meets Esther, a woman who has come to live in the town to escape her own disappointments. Together, they find resonance in each other’s experiences and learn new ways to let love into their broken lives.
By Mel O’Doherty. June 28th
The story of a fictional Cork family set against a nation’s crime and its unearthing.
By Moya Cannon. February 25th
More than three decades’ work by one of Ireland’s best-loved contemporary poets. Through land- and seascapes, archaeology and geology, Cannon explores our relationship with our past and the natural world in poetry of memorable, unpredictable discovery.
Eat or We Both Starve
By Victoria Kennefick. March 25th
This daring debut draws readers into seemingly recognizable set-pieces (the family home, the shared meal), but forges this material into new shapes, making them viable again for exploring what it is to live with the past—and not to be consumed by it.
By Martina Evans. April 29th
Evans’s eponymous Mules are shoes brought to her as an exotic gift by an American relation. They suggest to her the possibility of a different world. Evans’s English makes different noises in the imagining of Ireland, England and America, but the same wise, wry, inventive mouth speaks them all.
Twenty twenty-one sees a powerful line-up of seven titles from us. Among them, A Perfect Cemetery, by Federico Falco, is a spacious collection of short stories set in the mountainous region of Cordoba in Argentina, each focusing on a character undergoing a sea change in their life. It is translated by the incredible talent that is Jennifer Croft, translator of Olga Tokarczuk. Occupation is the latest from the Brazilian writer Julián Fuks, and a loose sequel to his international award-winning Resistance. It is a bold, finely crafted introspection on what it means to inhabit a space, a body, a life.
The American Way
Edited by Ra Page. May 27th
In this addition to Comma’s History-into-Fiction series (the first that has addressed history outside of Britain), US foreign policy from 1945 to the present day is rewritten into fiction in its entirety for an anthology of short stories, exploring the human cost of interventions on foreign soil, by writers from such soil. The American Way features specially commissioned stories by authors from across the globe, including the IPAF-shortlisted Libyan author Najwa Binshatwan, the Jhalak Prize-winner Jacob Ross and the award-winning Iraqi author Hassan Blasim, all accompanied by afterwords from historians.
Shorelines: The Coastal Atlas of Ireland
By Robert Devoy, Val Cummins, Barry Brunt, Darius Bartlett and Sarah Kandrot. June
The next book in the award-winning Atlas series looks at the coastline of the entire island of Ireland, from the physical, human and environmental perspectives. Visually stunning, accessible and an academic tour de force, Shorelines: The Coastal Atlas of Ireland will resonate with everybody who has a connection to Ireland and anybody interested in the Irish coast.
Rewriting Our Stories: Education, Empowerment, and Well-being
By Derek Gladwin. February
Harnesses the therapeutic power of storytelling to convert feelings of fear and powerlessness into affirmative life narratives (MindYourSelf Series).
Our Lady of the Nile
By Scholastique Mukasonga. March
Scholastique Mukasonga is a major international author who has been tipped for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Set in 1970s Rwanda, Our Lady of the Nile is a landmark novel about a country divided and a society hurtling towards horror. In gorgeous and devastating prose, Mukasonga captures the dreams, ambitions and prejudices of young women growing up as their country falls apart.
By Brandon Taylor. June
A hotly charged new work of fiction from the Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Real Life. His first collection of short stories explores similar themes to Real Life –loneliness, connection and desire – with an assured elegance and skill.
Le Fanu’s Angel
By Brian Keogh, May
The life of an advertising agency director is upended when he survives a gruesome car crash and develops a form of Cotard’s Syndrome with his mind hovering between consciousness and extinction. Le Fanu’s Angel is a novel full of excitement, mystery and the unexpected, set in historic and contemporary Dublin.
By Dara Kavanagh, May
Prague 1938 is a coming-of-age novel, or a novel of lost illusions, set in a Czechoslovakia threatened with incorporation into the Third Reich.
A Provincial Death
By Eoghan Smith, November
Lyrical and blackly comic, Eoghan Smith’s second novel, AProvincial Death is a story of human survival, the mysteriousness of existence, and planetary catastrophe.
The Redemption Cut
By Pat Gray, November
A chilling noir novel set in the Belfast of The Troubles in which Pat Gray ‘s flawed but dogged and honourable policeman McCann has unfinished business to settle.
A Gap in the Clouds
Translated by James Hadley and Nell Regan. February 11th
To coincide with Japan’s National Foundation Day, a new translation of one of Japan’s most celebrated poetry anthologies, as relevant now as when it was first assembled, in medieval times. Love, longing, loss and the wonders of the natural world in a single pocket-sized volume.
Sonic White Poise
By Patrick Cotter. March 1st
Cork-born Patrick Cotter’s third collection of poems is a lively, comic, sometimes surreal celebration of engagement with life, in all its unpredictable forms, and with language itself.
Age of the Microwave Dinner
By Colin Hassard. April
Universal themes from Colin’s unique perspective.
By Moyra Donaldson. April
The relations between mothers and daughters.
By Madeleine D’Arcy. September/October
Twisted tales, set before and during the pandemic.
By David Butler. September/October
The geography, history, ecology and cultural associations of the River Liffey.
The Value of Cut Flowers
By Amanda Bell. September/October
Matrilineage against a backdrop of global upheavals.
Smugglers in the Underground Hug Trade
By William Wall. September/October
Poetic journal of the “plague year” 2020.
An Empty House
Edited by Alice Kinsella and Nessa O’Mahoney. September/October
An anthology on the climate crisis.
The Things We’ve Seen
By Agustín Fernández Mallo, translated by Thomas Bunstead, March
Lynch meets Sebald in this strange and poetic novel on the legacies of war and the interconnectedness of human beings in the twenty-first century.
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By Polly Barton, April
Why Japan? In this debut about the quietly revolutionary act of learning, speaking, and living in Japanese, Polly Barton attempts to exhaust her obsession with the country she moved to at the age of 21.
By Joshua Cohen, May
Mixing fiction with nonfiction, the campus novel with the lecture, The Netanyahus is a wildly inventive, genre-bending comedy of blending, identity, and politics – or, as the subtitle puts it, ‘An Account of A Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Incident in the History of a Very Famous Family’.
Who exactly were those men in their ill-fitting khaki trousers and green tunics? In The Black & Tans, 1920-1921 Jim Herlihy lists alphabetically every member of the three groups who together become the Black and Tans. Also includes a chapter on tracing and identifying Black and Tan ancestors.
Patrick McCarthy’s revealing History of the Irish Pharmaceutical Industry: Making Medicines for the World examines how Ireland has become the key manufacturing centre for the global pharmaceutical market.
On June 21st, 1798, 20,000 men, women and children found themselves trapped on a hill outside Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, facing a crown force of 15,000 troops led by four generals and 16 officers. Vinegar Hill: The Last Stand of the Wexford Rebels of 1798, by Ronan O’Flaherty and Jacqui Hynes, provides startling new insight into what actually happened at Vinegar Hill on that fateful day.
Our programme of publications in our 52nd year abounds in fresh energy and variety. There’ll be first collections (John Fitzgerald and Audrey Molloy) and a Gallery debut (Annemarie Ní Churreáin), as well as staple fare (new poems by Michelle O’Sullivan, Marina Carr’s The Boy – after Sophocles – and John McAuliffe’s Selected Poems). We look forward also to publishing Intimate City, Peter Sirr’s brilliant essays, a hymn to Dublin, and Thomas McCarthy’s Poetry, Memory and the Party: Journals 1974-2004. Also planned is Autumn Skies, poets on poems by Derek Mahon, a tribute to appear on what would have been his 80th birthday, and we’ll proudly publish Derek Mahon: The Poems (1961-2020), all he wanted to preserve in its final version.
This is an exciting year for Galley Beggar, with two major titles by established authors and what we’re hoping will be two breakthrough debuts. In Lucy Ellmann’s first essay collection, Things Are Against Us (July), her glorious, fiery genius is on full display; and the paperback edition of Alex Pheby’s Mordew (July) follows the critical and sales success of the hardback. We also have a great deal of love invested in James Clammer’s Insignificance (May) and Uschi Gatward’s English Magic (August), two books that say important new things about class and belonging, as well as containing moving, beautifully crafted human stories.
Drums in the Distance
By Joe Mulhall. July
Investigation into the rise of far-right organisations worldwide by the senior researcher at Hope Not Hate, drawing on the author’s own research undercover.
The Year of the End
By Anne Theroux. July
Anne’s husband, the writer Paul Theroux, left London in January 1990 after 23 years together. This memoir is based on her diary for the year. There are reflections on truth and fiction, life and art, and the nature of marriage as well as scenes of family life with her sons, Marcel and Louis.
The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small
By Neil Jordan. February
Neil Jordan’s novel follows Lord Edward Fitzgerald’s manservant Tony Small, a runaway slave who rescued Lord Edward after the Battle of Eutaw Springs, during the American War of Independence. In this gripping narrative, Small examines the ironies of empire, captivity and freedom.
By Adrian Duncan. March
The debut collection of stories by Adrian Duncan, winner of the inaugural John McGahern Book Prize, feature young artists, footballers and artisan engineers in tales played out on Dublin’s northside and in Hamburg, Abu Dhabi and Accra.
Reclaiming the European Street: Speeches on Europe and the European Union 2016-2020
By President Michael D Higgins. March
This timely and important intervention illuminates the President’s standpoint on a range of important issues.
With an Unopened Umbrella in the Pouring Rain
By Ludovic Bruckstein, translated from the Romanian by Alistair Ian Blyth. February
The stories in this collection tell of the lives and struggles of a wonderful variety of characters living in the Maramures region of central Europe, in the years leading up to a war that will suddenly and irretrievably destroy the pattern of their existence. Bruckstein’s descriptions are full of understanding, compassion and forgiveness, even managing to smile at the petty worries and trivialities that people take so seriously while often remaining unaware of very real and existential dangers.
By Asli Biçen, translated from the Turkish by Feyza Howell. March
An unexpected earthquake sets the peninsula of Andaliç drifting between Greece and Turkey, while our heroes, Cemal and Jülide, join the growing resistance moving challenging the ever-increasing repressive measures being inflicted on them by the authorities. What starts as the realistic tale of a charming provincial town develops into a richly detailed political novel in a fantastic setting.
All Shining in the Spring: The Story of a Baby Who Died
By Siobhán Parkinson. April 3rd
Based on the author’s own experience of stillbirth, this child-centred book addresses an underdiscussed subject.
A Short, Hopeful Guide to Climate Change
By Oisín McGann. April 15th
We’ve teamed up with Friends of the Earth Ireland on an optimistic introduction to our environmental predicament.
By Sam Thompson. May 6th
This children’s debut from a Booker-longlisted author is one of the most thrilling manuscripts we have ever received. A boy with a speech difficulty enters a hidden world of talking animals, where voice is power.
Futsal: The Story of an Indoor Football Revolution
By Jamie Fahey. July 1st
Futsal, a form of indoor football, is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, with more than 60 million people playing it globally. Jamie Fahey, a Guardian sports writer who is also a futsal coach, uncovers its global stories, tactical innovations and fascinating history, illuminating a hidden corner of sporting history.
Midnight’s Borders: A People’s History of Modern India
By Suchitra Vijayan. February 25th
Based on the author’s unique view and experiences travelling India’s 14,500km land border for five years, Midnight’s Border’s is a stunning collection of narrative reportage, political history and travel writing. It gives us intimate portrayals of the people, struggles and resilience within a nation.
The Day I Fell off My Island
By Yvonne Bailey-Smith. June 10th
Erna Mullings, a teenage Jamaican girl, is uprooted from her island following the sudden death of her beloved grandmother in this captivating coming-of-age novel that gives voice to the reluctant immigrants, children the world over who have to deal with the upheavals and transitions associated with moving to a new country or a new family.
Hamid & Shakespeare
By Majid Adin. August 5th
A chance spotting of a poster advertising Shakespeare’s quadricentennial spurs a refugee to imagine himself transported from his detention cell to the Globe Theatre, where he befriends the Bard and relates his experiences of interrogation, dangerous sea crossings, the Calais “jungle” and arriving in the UK in the back of a refrigerated lorry.
By Nuala O’Connor. April 10th
A bold reimagining of the life of Nora Barnacle, wife and muse of James Joyce. In sensuous, resonant prose, Nuala O’Connor has conjured the definitive portrait of this strong, passionate and loyal Irishwoman.
If Memory Serves Me Wrong
By Ronan Smith. May
A fascinating and harrowing account from the actor-producer Ronan Smith about supporting his father through early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and his own diagnosis with the illness.
By Caitriona Lally. August
Caitriona Lally’s sophomore novel centres around an outsider protagonist, Roy, an Irishman exiled from Ireland to Hamburg for unknown reasons.
By Barry Landy. September
A fresh look at the trajectory of male and female Irish footballers travelling outside the UK to pursue international careers.
Dark Blue: The Despair Behind the Glory – My Journey Back from the Edge
By Shane Carthy. February
Shane Carthy was a rising star in Dublin football and played on an All Ireland-winning team at 18. But in the midst of success he suffered from severe depression, hiding it from everyone. With searing honesty, he tells of his journey through dark times, and how he learned to love life again.
A Quarter Glass of Milk: The Rawness of Grief and the Power of the Mountains
By Moire O’Sullivan. February
When Moire O’Sullivan’s husband took his own life, she was left bereft. Through running, the peace and wild beauty of the mountains and the people she meets there, Moire discovers her inner strength. A raw, insightful story of grief, the power of nature and the healing support of community.
Mindful Money: More Money, More Freedom, More Happiness
By Kel Galavan. January
Part personal story, part how-to guide, Mindful Money by MrsSmartMoneyHQ is about building good spending habits and a positive money mindset to create a fulfilling, happy life no matter your income.
Crisis: 25 Business Leaders on Surviving in Troubled Times
By Tom Maguire. January 25th
Dealing successfully with crisis is an essential part of doing business, and the current moment is a crisis like no other for the business community. In Crisis, Tom Maguire guides us through the five stages of a crisis in conversation with 25 well-known business leaders.
By Rachel Trezise. June 1st
The south Wales valleys, June 23rd, 2016. It’s another long day chopping up beef carcasses at the slaughterhouse for the former reality-TV star and Iron Man contender Caleb Jenkins, whose untroubled world unravelled when his old man’s carpet business went bust last year. But while Caleb struggles with his own life and family, politicians of all persuasions are promising the scared and voiceless people around him real change. The anticipated return of an award-winning author, Easy Meat is a glimpse of a young man and a country on the verge of a momentous decision.
Green Unpleasant Land
By Corinne Fowler. January
Green Unpleasant Land explores rural England’s colonial past and its importance in forming ideas of Englishness. It examines four centuries of pastoral literature to explore the impact of race, class and gender on these myths. The book questions the idea of the countryside as a retreat from urban life or country houses as models for civility. It reconsiders rural locations through the lens of British colonialism. Green Unpleasant Land also contains a selection of Corinne Fowler’s stories and poems in response to the research she has undertaken. It is a personal story, too, of her own family relationship to transatlantic enslavement.
The Sun Is Open
By Gail McConnell. September 15th
The central event of The Sun Is Open is the murder of the author’s father by the IRA outside her Belfast home in 1984 – an event approached through a boxed archive of public and private materials related to his life and death. Flitting between a child and adult self, this astonishing poetry debut charts the experience of going through the box, as the poems attempt to decode the past and present, and piece together a history, and a life.
By Meng Jin. Pushkin One, February 25th
An epic, ambitious novel that opens during the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
By Karin Smirnoff. March 4th
A publishing phenomenon from Sweden. Discovered on the slush pile by the Swedish editor, this novel became a bestseller.
The Eighth Girl
By Maxine Mei Fung-Chung. Vertigo, March 4th
An unsettling, seductive psychological thriller written by a practising psychoanalytic psychotherapist.
By Ulrich Alexander Boschwitz. April 1st
This devastating rediscovered classic is written from the horrors of Nazi Germany, as one Jewish man attempts to flee persecution in the wake of Kristallnacht.
Salmon’s 40th birthday year is off to an exciting start with Days of Clear Light: A Festschrift in Honour of Jessie Lendennie and in Celebration of Salmon Poetry at 40 (January). Debut collections Fox Trousers by Eithne Hand and Silver Spoon by Jessamine O’Connor (with full colour illustrations by artist Helen Chantrell) will be launched in February. afterwords, the seventh collection of poetry by UCD Emeritus Professor of Anglo-Irish Literature Maurice Harmon, celebrating his 90th year, will appear in March. Other 2021 titles include an exciting anniversary project celebrating Salmon’s longstanding commitment to equality and diversity in Irish literature which will be unveiled in September.
This summer’s must-read for all book lovers is White Spines: Confessions of a Book Collector, by Nicholas Royle (June). A mix of memoir and narrative nonfiction, this book explores the author’s passion for Picador’s fiction publishing from the 1970s to the end of the 1990s. It focuses on the bookshops and charity shops where he bought them, the books themselves and the way a unique collection grew and became a literary obsession. November sees a highly anticipated new novel from the Booker Prize-shortlisted Alison Moore: The Retreat, about a watercolourist, Sandra, who attends a retreat in the former home of a silent-film star on an island 150km from the English coast. It’s close to France, but it’s not French. She has always wanted to go there since seeing it, as a child, from a bigger, neighbouring island. When she gets there, sharing a house with other artists and poets, she finds she doesn’t quite fit in, and the visit will not go quite as planned.
How to Survive Everything
By Ewan Morrison. March
A new pandemic satire by the award-winning author of Nina X, Close Your Eyes and Tales from the Mall. This story of a teenage girl and her brother kidnapped by their father to his lockdown hideaway tackles fake news, preppers, family and global political conspiracy in “a satire wrapped in a thriller confronting the huge political issues of our time”. Perhaps the first pandemic novel?
By Graeme Macrae Burnet. October
Hotly awaited new novel from the Booker-nominated author of His Bloody Project, consisting of a series of notebooks sent to the author in 2020 to aid his research into the forgotten 1960s psychotherapist Arthur Collins Braithwaite, a controversial contemporary of RD Laing. The synopsis explains: “These notebooks reveal the story of a young woman convinced that Braithwaite is responsible for her sister’s suicide. Determined to get to the bottom of the charismatic therapist’s role in her sister’s death, she assumes an alter ego and presents herself as a client to him.”
The Sisters Mao
By Gavin McCrea. September 9th
Gavin McCrea’s debut novel, about the wife of Friedrich Engel, came out in 2015 to rave reviews. His new book, The Sisters Mao, again tells the stories of women living in the midst of, and sometimes causing, political upheaval. The Cultural Revolution in China and the sexual revolution in Europe form the backdrop to the drama, which sees two radical sisters plan an attack on a theatre in London while, in Beijing, Chairman Mao’s wife engineers a ballet performance for political gain. Psychologically immersive and completely addictive, McCrea’s writing elegantly demonstrates that the political is always personal.
By Philip Ó Ceallaigh. May
A new collection from the Bucharest-based writer and translator. Ó Ceallaigh won the 2006 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for his collection Notes from a Turkish Whorehouse, which also won the 2006 Glen Dimplex New Writers’ Award. His second collection, The Pleasant Light of Day, was shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award.
By Rosaleen McDonagh. September
In this visceral and confronting collection of essays, Rosaleen McDonagh writes about relentless discrimination and racism, of abuse and powerlessness, and of the bonds of friendship and family. Raw, honest and uncompromising, Unsettled is written from a Traveller, feminist perspective layered with the tapestry of the disability aesthetic. Dr Rosaleen McDonagh is an academic, playwright and member of Aosdána.
The Fatal Move and Other Stories
By Conall Cearnach. March
Written in Belfast and Bangor during the partition of Ireland, these six strange stories are unusual documents of the time. “Cearnach” was the pseudonym of FW O’Connell, a peculiar Protestant divine, linguist and Irish-language scholar, oddball essayist and early national broadcaster. His sole fiction collection showcases a wide scope: the conte cruel, the ghost story, the locked-room mystery and the science-fictional satire. What unifies the stories is O’Connell’s playful, outward-looking perspective, inspired by his love of the diverse cultures and languages of the world and his home country in equal measure. A unique figure in Irish life, Cearnach’s character is perhaps more present in these stories than the anxieties of the time in which they were written.
Life After Truth
By Ceridwen Dovey. March 4th
A compelling novel about friendship, power, midlife, parenthood and love set during a Harvard reunion. Five friends gather 15 years after graduating when an infamous classmate, son of the recently elected and loathed US president, winds up dead. Ceridwen Dovey graduated from Harvard in the class of 2003, alongside Natalie Portman and Jared Kushner.
Blood in the Water
By Silver Donald Cameron. May 8th
Masterfully told true-crime story of small-town revenge set in an insular fishing village in Nova Scotia. The murder at sea of a small-time criminal who had terrorised the community for two decades by three upstanding citizen asks if taking the law into your own hands is ever the right thing to do.
By Fran Lock
In his final book, Wild Talents (1932) Charles Hoy Fort writes about the belief that under certain emotional conditions, such as grief or rage, a man might turn into a hyena. In the wake of a sudden bereavement Fran found herself in a state where animal transformation felt plausible , where she felt just mad enough or feral enough to turn into a hyena herself. Hyena!, her eighth collection of poetry, is an extraodinary work of queer grieving, using animal transformation to confront the many unacceptable faces of loss.
A ‘best of’ anthology celebrating 10 years of The Poetry Bus Magazine.
By Niall Bourke. April 8th
That’s the problem, thinks Willard. In the Line the dead still have a say, and their say counts for double. It’s a necrocracy, and so everyone left alive walks into tomorrow facing backwards. Willard and his mother have spent their entire lives on a journey where daily survival is dictated by the ultimate imperative: obey the rules or you will lose your place in the Line. Everything changes the day Willard’s mother dies and he finds a strange book hidden among her few belongings. This speculative-fiction novel by the Costa Short Story Award-shortlisted author Niall Bourke is a visceral, inventive and thoroughly entertaining debut. Think Shirley Jackson with a hint of Joseph Conrad.
In The Dark
By Anamaría Crowe Serrano. May 31st
Teruel, north-east Spain, winter, 1937. The civil war is raging, pitting neighbour against neighbour, tearing families apart. Franco’s Nationalist rebels have surrounded the city. This is the story of a house, of the people who take refuge there – and a dangerous secret within. A deserter from the conflict is hiding under the stairs, protected by the only person who knows he is there. In The Dark is a tale of the bitter hardships of survival during war, of the struggle to extract truth from many versions of the truth, and a love that yearns to transcend the conflict.
By Bryan Fanning. March
Diverse Republic examines challenges to future social cohesion, including racism and the emergence of a nativist far-right, while examining how an inclusive Ireland can be promoted through politics, citizenship, community development and social policy.
Shadows from the Trenches: Veterans of the Great War and the Irish Revolution (1918-1923)
By Emmanuel Destenay. March
This book explores the roles of hundreds of Irish veterans of the Great War who participated in the Irish War of Independence and were key actors and cofounders of the Irish Free State.
The Lives of Saints
By Sebastian Barry. May
The second in the Laureate for Irish Fiction series. Barry explores his unique relation to Irish literature and the family and artists who have shaped his writing and career.
Lectures from the Laureate na nÓg
By Áine Ní Ghlinn. May
The first in the series of books from the Laureate na nÓg. Áine Ní Ghlinn explores the symbols of invisibility in children’s literature as part of her laureateship.
Waiting for the Waters to Rise
By Maryse Condé, translated by Richard Philcox. August
Babakar is a doctor living alone in Guadeloupe, until the child Anaïs comes into his life. Forced to abandon his solitude, he takes her to Haiti in search of her family. This is an impassionate love letter to the Caribbean islands and all their troubled beauty.