Today is St. Patrick’s Day and the perfect time to talk a wee bit about Irish authors. We know you know about the heavy hitters like James Joyce and Oscar Wilde, and you couldn’t miss the Irish-influence at this year’s Oscars: Emma Donoghue’s Room and Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn both inspired Best Picture nominees. But how about Kevin Barry? If this Irish lit phenom’s books aren’t yet topping your reading list, there’s little doubt they soon will be. Celebrated for their dazzling language and endless originality, his novels and story collections have already won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the Goldsmiths Prize, and the International Dublin Literary Award with author Irvine Welsh calling Barry’s debut The City of Bohane “the best novel to come out of Ireland since Ulysses.” So as you celebrate all things Irish today, don’t forget to check out a book by Kevin Barry. You can read more about them below, and don’t miss the great clip of Barry reading “Apparitions” – his witty tale about the ghosts of Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, and William Butler Yeats haunting the streets of modern Dublin. Enjoy!
Zadie Smith’s latest acclaimed novel hit library shelves on September 4th and demand for a copy instantly hit fever pitch. Titled NW, the British writer’s first novel since 2005’s On Beauty tells the captivating story of four North West Londoners struggling to make adult lives outside of Caldwell, the housing project of their youth. Written in a daring stream-of-consciousness style, NW has been praised by Booklist as a “quintessential 21st-century urban novel depicting a vibrant, volatile multicultural world… with wit, empathy, and artistry.” So add this emotional knockout to your must-read queue, and while you eagerly await your copy, don’t miss Smith reading an excerpt below. Enjoy!
For Ken Follett fans, this September 18th is something of a holiday. Yes, in only nine short days Winter of the World – the eagerly anticipated second book in his ambitious Century Trilogy – will hit library shelves to the delight of legions of readers. Picking up right where the bestselling Fall of Giants left off, this epic installment traces the next generation of the five original Welsh, English, German, Russian, and American families as their lives are inextricably entangled by the rise of Hitler and the coming of war. To help whet your appetite, don’t miss Follett reading a passage from the new book below, and don’t forget to clear your reading schedule. September 18th is happily right around the corner. Enjoy!
Hey Justin Cronin fans have we got a treat for you. As you’re surely well aware, the highly anticipated follow-up to his heart-stopping epic The Passage hits the streets in a few short weeks, and you’ll soon have all the apocalyptic mayhem you can handle. Titled The Twelve, this second book in The Passage Trilogy is officially out on October 16th, and to help you down the home stretch, you won’t want to miss Mr. Cronin reading an excerpt below. With this little appetizer, you’ll certainly be ready for the main course. Enjoy!
You can hear poet and memoirist Mary Karr give a poetry reading at the Art Institute of Chicago, Rubloff Auditorium (230 S Columbus Dr) on Tuesday, April 5 at 6pm. As fans of Karr’s widely read memoir Liars’ Club will know, Karr follows the dictum of her mentor, Tobias Wolff, to “tell a bit more truth than you’re comfortable with.” Admission is free. Seating is first-come, first-served. Mary H., Reader’s Services
Writers Reading is a brand spanking new Off the Shelf feature that lets you experience your favorite authors reading from their work. We kick things off with the following clip of Paul Auster reading from his new novel Sunset Park. Enjoy, and check back often for more Writers Reading.