Booker listed Joseph O’Neill returns to Cúirt

Joseph O’Neill.

Joseph O’Neill.

IRISH AUTHOR Joseph O’Neill, who has previously been long listed for the Booker, will take part in a public interview for the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

O’Neill, originally from Cork, but who lived in Mozambique, South Africa, Iran, Turkey, and Holland, will be interviewed by the Irish Independent’s books editor Edel Coffey in the Town Hall Theatre, this Saturday at 6.30pm.

O’Neill’s novels include This Is The Life, The Breezes, and Netherland, and the non-fiction Blood-Dark Track, a family history centred on the mysterious imprisonment of both his grandfathers during World War II. His most recent novel, The Dog, focuses on a Dutch-born Wall Street banker, who leaves New York to manage the wealth of a family in Dubai. Throughout it deals with themes of alienation, new life in a surreal landscape, and the challenges that presents. The New York Times called it “stunning” and compared it to The Great Gatsby.

Since 2011, O’Neill has taught writing at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, a considerable change from his previous career in the legal profession. “Teaching is nothing like being in court. Being in court is terrifying,” he has said. “You will always be asked a question you don’t want to answer. Students are not trying to catch you out. They just want to know stuff.”

Asked whether now, as something of a literary celebrity, promoting a novel is different to when he started out in writing, O’Neill replied: “It just doesn’t work that way, does it?”. He says these days a book tour in the US means making a few phone calls and showing up for readings at indie stores on the West Coast: very different from the dedicated audiences at Cúirt.

Tickets are €8 and available from the Town Hall through or 091 - 569777.


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