Sarah Byrne & Jente Posthuma

Time and date

Tuesday 11 July 2023

1:00 pm


Bantry Library

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In this event we are joined by Sarah Byrne, an author from Cork but living in Paris, who will read from her forthcoming essay collection Paper People and Dutch author Jente Posthuma who will read from her novel What I’d Rather Not Think About.

What I'd Rather Not Think About was shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Literature after it was published in Dutch in 2020. It has now been translated into English by Sarah Timmer Harvey.

Sarah and Jente will be in conversation with Rachel Andrews

Admission: Free

Paper People is a forthcoming essay collection by Sarah Byrne that proposes paper as a living organism and a tribute to the psychological, social and bodily connections Sarah has made with this material through the course of her life especially as a reader. As a child with dyspraxia, the author experienced an incessant spatial violence where the body was both agent and receptacle of terror. Paper People reconstructs and revisits spatial realities through fiction, family and friendship and documents Sarah’s many drafts to make a world she could move in.


What if one half of a pair of twins no longer wants to live? What if the other can’t live without them? This question lies at the heart of Jente Posthuma’s deceptively simple novel What I’d Rather Not Think About. The narrator is a twin whose brother has recently taken his own life. She looks back on their childhood, and tells of their adult lives: how her brother tried to find happiness, but lost himself in various men and the Bhagwan movement, though never completely. In brief, precise vignettes, full of gentle melancholy and surprising humour, Jente tells the story of a depressive brother, viewed from the perspective of the sister who both loves and resents her twin, struggles to understand him, and misses him terribly.


Jente’s attendance at West Cork Literary Festival is supported by the Nederlands Letterenfonds / Dutch Foundation for Literature as part of their New Dutch Writing programme




Sarah Byrne

Sarah Byrne writes, teaches and edits for a living. She lives between France and Ireland and her work has appeared in The Irish Times, The New Statesman and Poetry Ireland...

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Jente Posthuma

Jente Posthuma’s critically acclaimed first novel, Mensen zonder uitstraling (People Without Charisma), was published in 2016 and nominated for the Dioraphte Literatour Prize, the Hebban Debut Prize, and the ANV...

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Rachel Andrews

Rachel Andrews’ essays and criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in outlets including the London Review of Books, n+1, Brick literary journal, the Stinging Fly, Longreads, Gorse, Banshee, the White Review, the Irish Times and the Dublin Review. In 2018, she was...

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