Why have women been treated differently, and discriminated against, in the literary world? Why has gender been a ‘problem’ in the writing, publishing, funding and reviewing scene? And why does it matter?
Éilís Ni Dhuibhne asked 21 writers who were born in mid-twentieth-century Ireland, north and south, to write about their literary lives. They tell it like it really was and is. Collectively, these vivid, original essays provide us with a fascinating picture of Ireland’s literary landscape from multiple female points of view. Poets, fiction writers, playwrights, impresarios, writers in Irish and English, have written accounts which are funny, tragic, philosophical, angry, but all are lively, stunningly honest testimonies of the writing life during a pivotal period in the history of Irish literature. These writers came of age when legislation for gender equality was beginning to be enacted. They are growing older on an island where a great deal has changed. They have participated in, and created, new and more egalitarian literary scenes through their activism, but above all with their writing. They were activists and voices when it really mattered. They are literary survivors.
Lia Mills writes novels, short stories, literary essays and memoir. Her most recent novel, Fallen, was the Dublin/Belfast Two Cities One Book selection in 2016. Recent work has been published in The Dublin Review, The Dublin Review of Books, and the EFACIS Kaleidoscope project. Her first novel, Another Alice, is reissued by Arlen House in 2022.
Catherine Dunne, born in 1954, is the author of eleven novels. Among her novels are: The Things We Know Now, which won the Giovanni Boccaccio International Prize for Fiction in 2013 and was shortlisted for Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. The Years That Followed was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. She was the recipient of the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature (2018).
Evelyn Conlon, described as ‘one of Ireland’s major truly creative writers’ is a novelist, short story writer, radio essayist and compiler of anthologies. Her work has been described by turn as poetic, acerbic, spare and beautifully descriptive. Her work often deals with people who are between places, crossing borders both real and imagined. It has been widely anthologised and translated, most recently into Tamil and Chinese. She is a member of Aosdána and lives in Dublin.
Hosted by Arlen House publisher Alan Hayes.
Ennis Book Club Festival acknowledges the support of the Arts Council of Ireland, Clare County Council, Clare County Library, Creative Ireland and all of our sponsors, in making the festival happen.
Books by festival contributors may be purchased from Ennis Bookshop.