Literary Programme 2018

Katharine Weber and Denyse Woods

Katharine Weber and Denyse Woods

Katharine Weber
Denyse Woods

Bantry Library

Sat 14 July 2018



Duncan savours the quotidian pleasures in life until a car accident leaves him paralyzed and haunted by the death of his young assistant. Desperate to help, his wife brings home a highly trained helper monkey to assist him with basic tasks. They both fall for this sweet, comical, Nutella-gobbling little creature, and Duncan’s life appears to become more tolerable, fuller, and funnier. Yet the question persists: Is it enough? Katharine Weber is a masterful observer of humanity, and Still Life with Monkey, full of tenderness and melancholy, explores the conflict between the will to live and the desire to die.

Still Life with Monkey is a brilliantly crafted novel, brimming with heart.’ Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage

‘In Katharine Weber’s new novel she takes on one of the most challenging subjects we know – the question of how to face a life we never imagined. She does so with great subtlety, tenderness and intelligence, as well as the beautiful prose we expect from her.’ Roxana Robinson, author of This Is My Daughter

Katharine Weber is the author of six novels (Still Life With Monkey, True Confections, Triangle, The Little Women, The Music Lesson, Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear) and a memoir (The Memory of All That: George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family’s Legacy of Infidelities). Her novels have been named New York Times Notable Books three times, have twice been longlisted for the Impac Dublin Literary Award and have been published in 16 languages. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Story, Boulevard Magenta, Gargoyle and Five Chapters and her book reviews, essays, and journalism have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, The New Yorker, The London Review of Books, The New York Times and Architectural Digest. Her new novel Still Life With Monkey will be published in the summer of 2018.

Is she, or isn’t she? This is the question that haunts Denyse Wood’s new novel Of Sea and Sand, a novel set in the magnificent landscapes of Oman. In an attempt to out-run his conscience, Irish pianist Gabriel Sherlock flees to Muscat in 1982, where he begins an affair with a woman whom no one else can see. Locals insist she must be one of the jinn, but Gabriel refuses to buy into the folklore, despite the manner in which she abruptly leaves him. Twenty-six years later, when he meets Thea Kerrigan, he is convinced that she is his lost lover. Certain that they have never met before, Thea is nonetheless drawn to this deluded stranger and the rumours that surround him. Of Sea and Sand teeters on the edge of a spirit world just beyond our grasp in this seductive mystery. It is a thrilling tale that brings together the supernatural, a passionate love affair, and a family tragedy

‘Sometimes, the sunniest settings have the darkest shadows. Of Sea and Sand takes you to such a place, plays tricks with light and time—and leaves you not knowing who is real: Us, or Them? Fictional angels and vampires have had their time. Now it’s the turn of the jinn.’ Tim Mackintosh-Smith, author of Travels with a Tangerine

Denyse Woods, who has also written as Denyse Devlin, is an Irish novelist, born in Boston, and the author of six novels, including the critically-acclaimed Overnight to Innsbruck and Irish and UK bestseller The Catalpa Tree. A recipient of an Arts Council of Ireland Literature Bursary Award and Cork County Council Arts Grants, Denyse has been awarded residencies with the Shanghai Writers’ Association, the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris and Zvona I Nari Croatia. In 2016, as the winner of the Florida Keys Flash Fiction Award, she spent two weeks writing in Ernest Hemingway's studio in Key West – the first author to do so since Hemingway himself. In 2017, she was Writer in Residence at Cork County Council Library & Arts Service. Of Sea and Sand is Denyse’s sixth novel and completes a trio of books set in the Arab world. It is published by Hoopoe Fiction, an imprint of the American University in Cairo Press, in April 2018. Her work has been translated into six languages. (

Katharine’s photo is by Corbin Gurkin and Denyse’s photo is by Mirte Slob