Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “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.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Trinity Report

I had a terrific time at the Irish Crime Fiction Festival at Trinity College over the weekend, and I didn’t even get to see half of it. The most enjoyable – albeit nerve-wracking – experience was chairing the paradoxically titled ‘Irish Crime Fiction Abroad’ panel in the Edmund Burke theatre on Saturday morning, with said panel comprised of (l-r, above) John Connolly, Jane Casey, Arlene Hunt, Alan Glynn and Conor Fitzgerald (pic courtesy of @paysan). The conversation ranged through issues such as place, identity and language, all in the context of how an Irish writer adapts his or her storytelling to another culture and society. I was too involved to have any sense of how it was all received, of course, but for my own part I found it utterly fascinating.
  It was terrific, too, to be in Trinity and meet – even for the briefest of chats – so many people all on the same wavelength. Joe Long and Seth Kavanagh, all the way from NYC; Michael Russell; Sue Condon; Paul Charles; Conor Brady; Kevin McCarthy; Eoin McNamee; Stuart Neville; Stephen Mearns; Sean Farrell; Michael Clifford; Rob Kitchin; Declan Hughes; Critical Mick; and Bob Johnston, all the way from the Gutter Bookshop.
  I had to leave at lunchtime on Saturday, due to work commitments so I missed out on the Saturday afternoon panel (and seeing Brian McGilloway, Niamh O’Connor, Gene Kerrigan and Louise Phillips); and I also missed out on John Connolly interviewing Michael Connelly, which I imagine was the weekend’s highlight. A real pity that, but needs must.
  Even so, it looked to me like the festival was a triumph, and a tribute to the fantastic efforts of Dr Brian Cliff, Professor John Waters of Glucksman House at NYC, and that tireless champion of all things Irish crime writing, John Connolly. Hearty congratulations to all involved, and here’s hoping the Trinity Irish crime writing event becomes a regular feature of the Irish literary scene.

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