Monday, 13 September 2010


The Munster Literature Centre's outstanding Frank O'Connor Festival starts on Wednesday. I've been going every year for the last 6 years and it is always a highlight of my literary year. A whole bunch of short story lovers and practitioners come together to talk, to read, to debate, and to eat 'n' drink.

I have the privilege on Saturday of introducing Tess Gallagher and Beverly Parayno (Beverly will be interviewing Tess) and, later, Tess Gallagher and Ita Daly's readings. Tess is an American author and essayist - Raymond Carver was her husband at the time of his death. Ita is originally from Leitrim; her short stories have appeared in, among other places, the Penguin Book of Irish Short Stories. Her collection, The Lady with the Red Shoes, was published by Poolbeg Press in 1980. She has won the Hennessy Award and the Irish Times Short Story Competition.

The Faber single volume edition of Claire Keegan's masterful story 'Foster' will be launched on Wednesday night at the start of the festival. The festival will end with the presentation of the €35,000 Frank O'Connor Award for a short story collection.

The award shortlist and the whole festival programme is available to view here.

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