BACK HOME Mike McCormack will be bringing his 2018 International Dublin Literary Award back home to Louisburgh next Sunday evening.
A hero’s welcome is guaranteed in Louisburgh this Sunday evening, August 19, for champion writer Mick McCormack as he arrives back to his home town. Louisburgh will be buzzing as the local celebrate and honour the success of a native son.
In June, Mike’s novel Solar Bones won one of the world’s most significant prizes for a single work of literature, The 2018 International Dublin Literary Award. The novel (his third) had already carried off The Goldsmiths Prize in 2016, and the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award last year.
Written in an innovative form (it is one continuous and fascinating sentence from page one to its conclusion), it is a profound and often humorous contemplation of life in Ireland and a gentle and nostalgic evocation of relationships in Louisburgh. In a review of Solar Bones, the Guardian critic wrote:
“The book is a hymn to modern small-town life, with its ‘rites, rhythms and rituals, upholding the world like solar bones’, as well as an indictment of human greed and stupidity, and how places and cultures respond to the circumstances beyond their control and yet of their own making.”
The New York Times said of the book that “Solar Bones takes a world that can’t stop talking about how broken it is, and suggests it might possibly be whole.” The celebratory event will take place in the Parochial Hall, starting at 8 pm. Prior to the establishment of Louisburgh’s current library in the former Church of Ireland building, where librarian Mary Keane hosts events for local poets and writers, the hall housed the library in a small front room. There, the young Mike McCormack spent many hours reading and dreaming of a literary career, the success of which he is hardly likely to have guessed.
The main item for the evening will be a conversation between Mike McCormack and Louisburgh-based poet Geraldine Mitchell. The work of both is deeply influenced by, and embedded in, an area of Mayo that both attracts artists and generates its own. Expect to be entertained and enthralled.
At the start of the event, Mike will make a presentation to the winners of the 2017 Pantry Book Club short story competition, organised for senior students at Sancta Maria College, and judged by short-story writer and poet, Ger Reidy.
As their teacher Deborah Maxwell says in her foreword to the winning selection (printed on the Books@One printer/binder): “True storytelling, like these young writers have demonstrated, requires real commitment and attention to detail. Painters see the tints and hues in every blade of grass, composers hear the melody and pitch within a single laugh but writers, I believe, are tasked with capturing it all.”
Everyone is invited to Louisburgh Parochial Hall on Sunday next, August 19, at 8pm. Admission is free.