Literary Programme 2018

Nick Laird and Zadie Smith

Nick Laird and Zadie Smith

Nick Laird
Zadie Smith

Maritime Hotel

Fri 13 July 2018



Join us for an evening of poetry, prose and essays with Nick Laird and Zadie Smith.

Nick Laird will read from his new poetry collection which will be published by Faber this summer and Modern Gods, his most recent novel. Modern Gods is a powerful, thought-provoking novel about two sisters who must reclaim themselves after their lives are dramatically upended. It charts the intimacies and disappointments of a family trying to hold itself together, and the repercussions of history and faith.

‘Modern Gods is an exceptional work of literature. Carlo Gébler, Irish Times

‘Laird’s book does what great novels do, using its humour to illuminate the deepest reaches of the human experience. With Modern Gods, Laird marks himself out as a first-rate novelist.’ Financial Times

‘An assured and brilliant voice in Irish poetry.’ Colm Tóibín

Nick Laird was born in County Tyrone in 1975. Educated at Cambridge and Harvard, he worked for many years in London and Warsaw as a litigator. He has won many awards for his fiction and poetry including the Betty Trask prize, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, a Somerset Maugham award, the Rooney Prize and the Ireland Chair of Poetry Prize. The New Yorker said of his poetry collection, Go Giants, that it ‘celebrates the jagged coexistence of the glorious and the mundane, the classical and the contemporary, the whimsical and the deadly serious’, and ‘the range of these scrupulous poems suggests there is little in form or content that Laird cannot master.’ He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Dazzlingly insightful, explosively funny and ever-timely, Zadie Smith is back with Feel Free a second unmissable collection of essays. No subject is too fringe or too mainstream for the unstoppable Zadie Smith. From social media to the environment, Tarantino to Jay-Z to Knausgaard, she has boundless curiosity and the boundless wit, insight and wisdom to match. Pop culture, high culture, social change and political debate all get the Zadie Smith treatment: dissected with razor-sharp intellect, set brilliantly against the context of the utterly contemporary, and considered with a deep humanity and compassion.

‘It’s good to know that, while my body rusts, I can keep my mind stretched and nimble by reading Zadie Smith.’ The Observer

‘A preternaturally gifted writer with a voice that’s street-smart and learned, sassy and philosophical all at the same time.’ The New York Times

‘Smith writes […] with such infectious zeal and engaging accessibility that it makes you want to turn up at her house and demand tutoring.’ Dazed and Confused

Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW and Swing Time, as well as a novella, The Embassy of Cambodia, and a collection of essays, Changing My Mind. She is also the editor of The Book of Other People. Zadie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, and was listed as one of Granta’s 20 Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and again in 2013. White Teeth won multiple literary awards including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Feel Free was published by Hamish Hamilton in February 2018.

Nick’s photo is by Mark Pringle and Zadie’s photo is by Dominique Nabokov

Nick and Zadie will be in conversation with Sinéad Gleeson. Sinéad’s essays have appeared in Granta, Winter Papers, Gorse, Banshee and Elsewhere Journal. Her debut essay collection, Constellations will be published by Picador in spring 2019. She is the editor of three short story anthologies, including The Long Gaze Back: an Anthology of Irish Women Writers and The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland.