Elaine Feeney & Jarred McGinnis

Time and date

Tuesday 11 July 2023

2:30 pm

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Elaine Feeney and Jarred McGinnis are the authors of beautiful novels about family, love and trying to find your place.

Elaine Feeney's How To Build A Boat is a vibrant, moving novel about a remarkable boy and his dream, from the prize-winning Irish novelist and poet. It's about love, family and connection, the power of imagination, and how our greatest adventures never happen alone.

The Coward by Jarred McGinnis is not the tale of redemption and hope one would expect. In this bold work of fiction, Jarred is a man whose life has been hedonistic and downright self-destructive. Until a car accident leaves him unable to walk.  The Coward is about hurt and forgiveness, how the world treats disabled people, and how we write and rewrite the stories we tell ourselves about our lives – and try to find a happy ending.

Elaine and Jarred will be in conversation with Sue Leonard

Admission: €18

Jamie O’Neill, the main protagonist of Elaine Feeney‘s How To Build A Boat, loves the colour red. He also loves tall trees, patterns, rain that comes with wind, the curvature of many objects, books with dust jackets, cats, rivers and Edgar Allan Poe. At age 13 there are two things he especially wants in life: to build a Perpetual Motion Machine, and to connect with his mother Noelle, who died when he was born. In his mind these things are intimately linked. And at his new school, where all else is disorientating and overwhelming, he finds two people who might just be able to help him.

A heart-stopping read and a stunning, resonant exploration of a community, a motherless boy and living an authentic life.Sinéad Gleeson


After a car accident Jarred discovers he’ll never walk again. Confined to a ‘giant roller-skate’, he finds himself with neither money nor job, a shoplifting habit, an addiction to painkillers and strangers treating him like he’s an idiot. Worse still, he’s forced to live back home with his estranged father. Trying to piece himself together, Jarred comes to realise that things don’t have to stay broken after all. The Coward by Jarred McGinnis is a compelling and darkly humorous exploration of what it means to come to terms with a broken body, rebuild a broken relationship and find love when it seems like there is no hope.




Elaine Feeney

Elaine Feeney is a writer from the west of Ireland. Her 2020 debut novel, As You Were, was shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Irish Novel of the...

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Jarred McGinnis

Jarred McGinnis was chosen by the Guardian as one of the UK's ten best emerging writers. His debut novel The Coward was selected for BBC 2's Between the Covers, BBC Radio 2's...

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Sue Leonard

A Journalist and Ghostwriter, Sue Leonard is the co-author of twelve books including two number one best-sellers. If Memory Serves Me Wrong, co-written with the former actor and Riverdance manager, Ronan...

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