Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Wednesday, 30 November 2016


It's my annual Christmas giveaway and this year I have a paperback copy of The Long Gaze Back, an anthology of Irish women writers, to give away. Comment on this blogpost to be entered in the draw. I will post to anywhere in the world. Draw will take place on Tuesday 6th December. Check back then to see if you've won and to send me your address. Good luck!


Here is the description & some reviews from the publisher, New Island's, website:

The Long Gaze Back, edited by Sinéad Gleeson, is an exhilarating anthology of thirty short stories by some of the most gifted women writers this island has ever produced.
Niamh Boyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Maeve Brennan, Mary Costello, June Caldwell, Lucy Caldwell, Evelyn Conlon, Anne Devlin, Maria Edgeworth, Anne Enright, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Norah Hoult, Mary Lavin, Eimear McBride, Molly McCloskey, Bernie McGill, Lisa McInerney, Belinda McKeon, Siobhán Mannion, Lia Mills, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Kate O’Brien, Roisín O’Donnell, E.M. Reapy, Charlotte Riddell, Eimear Ryan, Anakana Schofield, Somerville & Ross, Susan Stairs.
Taken together, the collected works of these writers reveal an enrapturing, unnerving, and piercingly beautiful mosaic of a lively literary landscape. Spanning four centuries, The Long Gaze Back features 8 rare stories from deceased luminaries and forerunners, and 22 new stories by some of the most talented Irish women writers working today. The anthology presents an inclusive and celebratory portrait of the high calibre of contemporary literature in Ireland.
These stories run the gamut from heartbreaking to humorous, but each leaves a lasting impression. They chart the passions, obligations, trials and tribulations of a variety of vividly-drawn characters with unflinching honesty and relentless compassion. These are stories to savour.
‘It is impossible to mention all of the stories here. The feisty, fabulously angrily funny Lisa McInerny doesn’t disappoint; neither does deep dark Nuala Ní Chonchúir. Ní Chonchúir’s story overcomes my usual suspicion of historical settings – she “took me there” to paraphrase the title of Niamh Boyce’s strangled heart-breaker. Mannion’s story is one of the quieter ones, but its pitch-perfect pulse really stayed with me… it is a great pleasure to come across the likes of Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Anne Devlin, Evelyn Conlon and Christine Dwyer Hickey, who have been writing their fine stories since it was “neither popular or profitable”…The Long Gaze Back is a substantial harvest, a seriously comprehensive and celebratory volume.’ – The Irish Times
‘There’s nothing girly about these stories; there are no cliches, no Mr Rights, no wedding bells, no evenings with Chardonnay. Instead, this collection represents the richness of women’s lives, past and present. The joy, the compassion, the anger, the sadness. It’s all there.’ – Sunday Independent
”The overwhelming majority of stories in this collection are vibrant, profound and absorbing – strong evidence of what Gleeson calls “a palpable energy in Irish writing”, and proof that, despite their exclusion from the anthologies of the bad old days, women writers have always been, and remain, at the heart of the Irish literary tradition.’ – Sunday Business Post
The Long Gaze Back blasts open the tunnel vision often applied to Irish literature and is a welcome addition to bookshelves, both academic and domestic.’ – We Love This Book
Excellent and necessary’. – Irish Independent
‘I loved The Long Gaze Back, an anthology of short stories by Irish women writers. In the year of ‘Waking The Feminists’ and a national conversation about the exclusion of female voices from the artistic canon, Sinéad Gleeson’s decision to create and edit this collection seems eerily prescient.’ – Louise O’Neill, Irish Independent
‘A refreshing and enlightening collection’. – Herald
 ‘Epic in its scope and ambition’. – RTÉ Guide
‘These are stories to be savoured and enjoyed. They invite you to seek out more work by these talented authors as each story is proceeded by a biographical brief that lists the authors’ other publications. And I do now feel compelled to read much more by these writers…This is an anthology with many different points that you can spring off from, but it’s also an important book with tremendous scope to be savoured by itself.’ -Lonesome Reader
About the Editor
Sinéad Gleeson is a broadcaster and critic who presents The Book Showon RTE Radio 1. She writes about arts and culture, and reviews books for The Irish Times. In 2012, she edited the short story anthology, Silver Threads of Hope, and is the editor of The Long Gaze Back: an Anthology of Irish Women Writers to be published by New Island in Autumn 2015.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016


Martello Tower at Donabate
I had a lovely, hectic weekend in Dublin, my hometown. Saturday was the Historical Novel Society Christmas lunch. We pulled crackers, we ate risotto, we discussed The Crown (marvelous!), also WIPS, NIPS, editors, Hilary Mantel's genius and all sorts. A lovely afternoon and big thanks to Catherine Kullmann for organising it.

Raffle prize :)
Sunday I went to Crafternoon Tea, re-learned how to crochet a granny square, and ate my own weight in cake. It's a gorgeous annual event organised by my cousin Clodagh and her friends, in aid of Mary Aikenhead Day Care in Donnybrook. We stayed by the sea in Donabate that night - a glorious setting (though the hotel was grubby.) All was well, though, my husband brought me to The Clarence the next night. Super posh and lovely.

Monday saw the announcement of the longlist for the 2017 International DUBLIN  Literary Award at Pearse Street library. Thrilled that Miss Emily is on it. All thanks to my agent Gráinne, my editors in Penguin USA and Canada, and all at lovely Sandstone Press in Scotland. But mostly to the libraries (Galway!) and readers who nominated the book. Thank you all! My fellow listees Sara Baume and Louise O'Neill were also in attendance. Seven Irish writers in total are longlisted, the others are: Kevin Barry, Anne Enright, Edna O'Brien and John Banville. Others on the list include Margaret Atwood, Anne Tyler, Franzen, Houellebecq etc etc, so, you know...Anyway, we had a lovely time and I met my old boss from 1989 (!!) from Clondalkin Library's Heritage Project, Brendan Teeling, who is now second in command at Dublin City Libraries. A great fella then and now.

The Irish longlistees
There are 147 novels on the longlist. Shortlist of 10 announced in April. Winner of the €100,000 in June 2017. Irish Times piece here.

Monday, 7 November 2016


Beyond the Centre is an anthology of essays written by Irish writers to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Irish Writers' Centre. The book is edited by Declan Meade, publisher and editor with The Stinging Fly press and lit mag. You can order it now from New Island books at €16.95.

I have an essay in it called 'Luck and Storms' and will read from it at the Belfast launch of the anthology in the Crescent Arts Centre on the 16th November at 7pm, alongside my lovely former college lecturer Alan Titley, as well as Martina Devlin and Jack Harte. Carlo Gébler will launch the book. More here.

Here's the description of the book from New Island's website:

What is it to be a writer? What are the struggles, the joys,
the moments of hardship and ones of brilliance?
To mark the 25th anniversary of the Irish Writers CentreBeyond the Centre: Writers in their own Words is a landmark anthology of essays by some of Ireland’s foremost contemporary writers, specially commissioned and edited by Declan Meade, publisher of The Stinging Fly.
By turns provocative, poignant, and practical, these candid accounts touch on various themes such as the craft of writing, the Irish literary scene through the decades, the struggle to make a living, and other snapshots of the writing experience. And controversy is never far from the surface – social class, diversity, gender, exclusion, nationalism, eremitism and ego all make spiky, colourful appearances.
Diverse and engaging, many pieces are also deeply personal, with honest and humorous anecdotes, offering an uncommon and revealing look into the lives and perspectives of contemporary Irish writers.
Here are their successes as well as their setbacks; the trials and the triumphs; the demands and rewards that writing affords. Beyond the Centre reveals the dedication and courage that define the writing life.
With essays by:
Kevin Barry, Pat Boran, Evelyn Conlon, Sarah Clancy, Dominique Cleary, Martina Devlin, Rob Doyle, Anne Enright, Mia Gallagher, Jack Harte, Anne Haverty, Lia Mills, Catherine Phil MacCarthy, Thomas McCarthy, Lisa McInerney, Belinda McKeon, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Joseph O’Connor, Mary O’Donnell, Mary O’Malley, Sean O’Reilly, Ian Sansom, Peter Sirr, Gerard Smyth, Alan Titley
Declan Meade is the founding editor and publisher of The Stinging Fly magazine and commissioned this collection of essays as part of the Irish Writers Centre’s 25th anniversary celebrations.
The Irish Writers Centre has long been a hub of literary activity, supporting established and aspiring writers throughout Ireland from its base in 19 Parnell Square, Dublin.