An Evening with Kevin Barry and Carys Davies
Tue 19 July
Join Kevin Barry and Carys Davies as they read from their latest books Beatlebone and The Redemption of Galen Pike.
Kevin Barry’s Beatlebone is a wild journey into the mind of John Lennon, by one of Ireland’s most exciting writers. John owns a tiny island off the west coast of Ireland. He will spend three days alone there – that is all he asks – and maybe it is there that he can at last outrun the shadows of his past. This is the story of his strangest trip.
Inspired by true events, Beatlebone offers a portrait of one of the world’s greatest artists at a time of creative strife. The tale of a wild journey into the world and a wild journey within, this mystery box of a novel is above all a sad and beautiful comedy from one of the most gifted stylists at work.
(Sometimes referred to as ‘Beatle Island’, Dorinish was bought by Lennon in 1967 for £1,700, with the intent of setting up a commune. After Lennon's death, Yoko Ono sold it and donated the proceeds to an Irish orphanage. It was recently up for sale again).
Winner of the Goldsmith’s Prize 2015
‘Casually lyrical, formally inventive, funny and moving, it is a small wonder.’ – The Sunday Times
‘Books like this come along once in a generation.’ – The New York Times
‘Gloriously freewheeling . . . a tale of fame, freaks, bad liquor and bad weather.’ – The Guardian
‘Superb… Beatlebone is a novel of necessary invention: profound, funny, hard to pin down.’ – The Irish Times
‘The most arresting and original writer to emerge from these islands in years.’ – Irvine Welsh
Kevin Barry is the author of the novel City of Bohane and two short story collections, Dark Lies the Island and There Are Little Kingdoms. He was awarded the Rooney Prize in 2007 and won The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize in 2012. For City of Bohane he was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Irish Book Award, and won the Author's Club First Novel Prize, The European Prize for Literature and the IMPAC Prize. Kevin has an original screenplay, The Gee Gees, in development with Element with David Kerr attached to direct. Another screenplay, based on stories from Dark Lies the Island and There Are Little Kingdoms, is in development with Michael Garland at Grand Pictures. Kevin’s latest novel Beatlebone was published in 2015 and won the Goldsmith’s Prize 2015.
Carys Davies’ The Redemption of Galen Pike: In a remote Australian settlement a young wife with an untellable secret reluctantly invites her neighbour into her home. A Quaker spinster offers companionship to a condemned man in a Colorado jail. In the ice and snows of Siberia an office employee from Birmingham witnesses a scene that will change her life. At a jubilee celebration in a northern English town a middle-aged alderman opens his heart to Queen Victoria. A teenage daughter leaves home in search of adventure. High in the Cumbrian fells a woman seeks help from her father’s enemy. Spare, precise, charged with a prickly wit, the stories in The Redemption of Galen Pike Carys Davies’ sparkling second collection remind us how little we know of the lives of others.
Winner of the 2015 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and the 2015 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. Shortlisted for the 2015 Wales Book of the Year: Fiction and the 2015 Edge Hill Short Story Prize
‘Outstanding . . . perfectly distilled, intense . . . exquisite.’ — The Yorkshire Post
‘Confirms beyond doubt her position among the finest British exponents of a particularly challenging form.’ — Irish Examiner
‘Extraordinarily powerful.’ — V.S. Pritchett Prize judges
‘As if Mark Twain and Annie Proulx had sat down at a desk together. But an original voice too. I shall be looking out for more.’ — Piers Plowright
'A truly original and striking collection… Here is a remarkable voice.' — 2015 Frank O'Connor Short Story Award judges
‘Delicate, magical.’ — Daily Express
Carys Davies is the author of two collections of short stories, Some New Ambush and The Redemption of Galen Pike, which won the 2015 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and the 2015 Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize. Her stories have also won the Royal Society of Literature’s VS Pritchett Prize and the Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Short Story Award and been widely published in magazines and anthologies, most recently in The Dublin Review, Granta New Writing, New Welsh Short Stories, Prospect and The Stinging Fly. Born in Wales she now lives in Lancaster.
Photo Credit: Carys Davies image: Jonathan Bean