And so the big day approacheth. Tomorrow, June 7th, sees the official launch of DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS: IRISH CRIME WRITING IN THE 21st CENTURY, said launch taking place at the award-winning Gutter Bookshop, Temple Bar, Dublin, at 6pm. As all Three Regular Readers will be aware, DOWN THESE GREEN STREETS is a collection of essays, interviews and short stories by Irish crime authors addressing the phenomenon that is the quality and quantity of Irish crime writing that has emerged in the past decade or so.
It goes without saying that all are welcome, and I’m hoping for a large turn-out, given that many of the contributors will be in attendance, including John Connolly, Tana French, Ken Bruen, Arlene Hunt, Declan Hughes, Gene Kerrigan, Alan Glynn, Alex Barclay, Eoin McNamee, Brian McGilloway, Niamh O’Connor, Jane Casey and Gerard Brennan, with Eoin Colfer proving gracious enough to agree to launch the tome on behalf of Liberties Press. I’ll be mooching around in the background too, but don’t let that put you off …
It feels as if tomorrow has been a long time coming, and I’m sure the abiding feeling will be one of relief, given that it’s about three years or so since I first had the idea for GREEN STREETS. I’ll be proud of the book too, of course, but in an oddly dislocated way, I think: my name is on the cover, as editor, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the book belongs to the authors, and that the pride will stem from a delight in seeing a body of writers giving voice, in a range of diverse ways, to the very personal inspirations, compulsions and justifications for doing what they do. It’s hard to say how the book will be received, given that it’s something of a rattle-bag without any real precedent, but for now I’m just happy to see it on the shelf and take its place in the world.
All the attending authors will be signing copies, by the way, with hardback and paperback editions available. Given the assembled talent, tomorrow evening represents a unique opportunity for crime fans to get their hands on a tome signed in multiple fashion by some of the best writers in the business. Oh, and there’ll be glasses of plonk too. How could you possible resist?
For those keen to know more, I’ll be on The Last Word with Matt Cooper tomorrow evening, Tuesday, basking in the reflected glory of one John Connolly, who may be persuaded to contribute a few words to the discussion; and for early risers, I’ll be on TV on Wednesday morning, on TV3’s Ireland AM at 8.15am, shuffling nervously and hoping not to say anything too stupid in the company of Eoin McNamee.
If you can’t make the launch, feel free to cross your fingers on our behalf. All good wishes gratefully accepted … And if you've a mind to order a copy, just clickety-click on the interweb lair of Liberties Press here ...
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.