What does it mean to be a 'debut author' these days? What's the difference between publishing short-form pieces and having a 'proper book' out in the world? How do people 'arrive' in the 21st century literary world? Four recent Irish literary successes offer up their takes on how they got there - and the role of the 'debut' label today. Join debut authors Eimear Ryan, Sarah Gilmartin, Louise Nealon and Luke Cassidy in conversation with writer, editor, and book reviewer Claire Hennesy.
Eimear Ryan is the author of the novel Holding Her Breath and a forthcoming book of essays about sport. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Winter Papers, The Dublin Review and The Stinging Fly.
Louise Nealon won the Seán Ó’Faoláin International Short Story Competition. Her short stories have been published in The Irish Times, Southward and The Stinging Fly. Her debut novel, Snowflake was published in May 2021, and was a number one bestseller in her native Ireland.
Luke Cassidy is a writer and producer from Dundalk. His debut novel, Iron Annie, was published by Bloomsbury Books in September, and will be published by Vintage USA in North America in January. He is contributing a short story to the forthcoming anthology of writing from the Irish border region by New Island Books, 'The New Frontier'. From October he will take the Iron Annie Cabaret, a stage show combining monologue theatre and live musical performance, on a tour of theatres around Ireland - funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and Louth County Council. He is currently working on a second novel and a TV adaptation.
Sarah Gilmartin is a critic who reviews fiction for the Irish Times. Her stories have been published in The Dublin Review, New Irish Writing and shortlisted for the RTÉ Francis MacManus Award. Her debut novel Dinner Party: A Tragedy (2021) is published by Pushkin Press.
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