Thursday, June 14, 2012

Reading with James Joyce on Bloomsday

Not many people can say that, but  yes, I will be reading with James Joyce on Bloomsday and another 109 Irish writers who plan to set a new Guinness World Record for the Most Authors Reading Consecutively From Their Own Work . It has been organised by the Irish Writers' Centre and it start at 10:00am on Friday 15th and finishes at 2:00pm on Saturday, Bloomsday.

It will be streamed live from the Irish Writers' Centre so everyone will get a chance to follow the readings if they cannot make it to the event and  it will be great fun. James and I will be reading  between 6:30am and 7:00am  so we will be vying with the dawn chorus. I will be reading from The Weight of Feathers (Arlen House, 2007) and James Martyn Joyce will be reading from his debut collection of short stories, What's Not Said which has just been launched by Arlen House.

This  masterly collection draws a different kind of attention to the small world of land purchase, building and resentment entrenched in the Irish psyche. These interlinked stories are populated by skinny-denimed squirrels and sawn off shot guns, where plasterers and electricians swarm over the shell of a house like fat flies cleaning out a carcass.  

With a gimlet eye he uncovers an Ireland of greed, betrayal and consequences with writing that is sharp, unsettling, lyrical, yet not without humour, throwing a spotlight on lives that fester behind the ordinary…where what he didn’t know couldn’t kick his door in at 4.00am and nail him to the bed with lead rivets. 

From the beautifully nuanced Dust Woman to such disquieting examples as Benny’s Case, What’s Not Said and Give Them Nothing, Joyce limns the shadow seam of Ireland with inference rather than statement, leaving the reader to search between the lines and bring into the light what’s not said, what can’t be said and even if it’s not said it always filters back. Now that’s what a good short story is all about.

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