He’s modest, too. I met him on Saturday afternoon in the fine hostelry of O’Connor’s of Ballisodare, in Sligo, for a dry sherry and light banter, during the course of which he entirely failed to mention that he’s been shortlisted by Richard Ford for the Davy Byrne’s Irish Writing Award (Short Stories), the winner of which will scoop a rather tasty €25,000. Mind you, the odds are stacked against him, given that he’s the only bloke up against five ladies … The Irish Times has all the details.
Anyway, the point of meeting McNamee was to harangue him into finishing the essay he’s promised me for DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS. Which he has now sworn to do, once he finishes off the novel and two screenplays he’s currently working on … Actually, part of the reason for meeting him was to find out exactly what the essay was about – the fact that McNamee lives in deepest, darkest Sligo means that the communications technology isn’t everything it should be. When he told me, I was bowled over – it’s a terrific idea, and possibly controversial, and one that’s sure to toss a pigeon or two among the cats when it sees the light of day.
Anyway, as I mentioned in passing last week, we’ve had a very strong nibble from a publisher interested in bringing DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS to market, which is all kinds of good news. For those of you unaware of what DTGS is, it’s a collection of essays, articles, interviews and short stories by Irish crime writers on Irish crime writing, and is a veritable Who’s Who of contemporary Irish crime writing, to wit:
Michael Connelly: a brief introduction.Given the way these things tend to pan out, I’ve no doubt details will change. Still, that’s the general gist, and I’m seriously looking forward to seeing it on the shelf …
Professor Ian Ross of Trinity College, Dublin: an in-depth introduction on the history of the crime narrative in general, and Irish crime writing in particular.
John Connolly: the Irish Gothic novel as a precursor to the crime novel.
Ruth Dudley Edwards: the proto-crime novels of Liam O’Flaherty.
Alan Glynn: literary crime narratives, from Flann O’Brien to John Banville.
Paul Charles: crime and punishment in Camden Town, London.
John Banville: interview on the crime narratives of John Banville and Benjamin Black.
Declan Hughes: the influence of American culture on Irish crime writing.
Gene Kerrigan: Irish crime fiction and its relationship with real crime.
Arlene Hunt: the urban-rural divide in Irish crime writing.
Colin Bateman: ‘Divorcing Jack’, and comedy crime writing in ‘Troubles’ Belfast.
Adrian McKinty: an account of Northern Ireland crime writing, 1940s-1990s.
Gerard Brennan: an account of post-‘Troubles’ crime narratives in Northern Ireland.
Alex Barclay: a short story.
Brian McGilloway: crossing the line – borders in Irish crime narratives.
Tara Brady (film critic): crime narratives in Irish cinema.
KT McCaffrey: crime narratives in Irish theatre.
Ken Bruen: a short story / movie in three acts.
Cormac Millar: the forerunners of the current crime-writing generation.
Neville Thompson: an odyssey through the mean streets.
Niamh O’Connor: true crime writing and journalism.
Eoin McNamee: the Puritan soul and Irish noir.
Tana French: interview on crime fiction and the post-Celtic Tiger Irish identity.
Cora Harrison: setting and history in the Irish crime narrative.
Declan Burke: lost classics of Irish crime fiction.