Paul Lynch: Prophet Song

Time and date

Wednesday 17 July 2024

8:30 pm

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Join Booker Prize Winner Paul Lynch for a discussion about his novel Prophet Song. is a deeply moving exploration of the consequences for ordinary people caught up in terrible events. Rather than placing his story in a foreign land, Paul sets it in his own backyard – Ireland. But this is an imagined Ireland, a nation teetering on the edge of collapse, controlled by a government that is rapidly descending into tyranny. This dystopian novel is even more topical today than it was when it was published in summer 2023.

Paul will be in conversation with Sue Leonard.

Admission: €20

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In today’s world, our televisions broadcast a continuous stream of tragic news, from the horrors of war and famine to poverty and homelessness. And it’s all too easy to become desensitized to these images, forgetting that behind them lie real people whose lives have been impacted. So how can a novelist engage readers in the problems of the world, surprise and shock them, and hold their attention?


Prophet Song begins on a dark and rainy evening in Dublin, where we meet Eilish Stack, a scientist and mother of four, answering her front door to the newly formed secret police, there to interrogate Larry, her husband and a trade union leader. When Larry mysteriously disappears, Eilish finds herself caught in the nightmarish logic of a collapsing society. History, her sister warns her, is a silent record of people who did not know when to leave. Now, Eilish must confront some terrible choices – what, or who, is she willing to sacrifice to save herself and her family?


Exhilarating, terrifying, and utterly compelling, Prophet Song is a breath-taking exploration of the human capacity for love and resilience in the face of unimaginable terror – the kind that we see every day on TV. The fact that it takes place in a country we know so well, with characters who could be our neighbours, makes it all the more affecting.


‘A profoundly human story that brings to life the horror of living in a modern war zone. Deft, subtle and written in strikingly beautiful prose, with this stunning novel Paul Lynch has joined the ranks of Atwood, Orwell and Burgess.’ Christine Dwyer Hickey


‘A monumental novel, prose so flawless and flowing that reading it is akin to being taken up in a wave. You emerge dazed. You remember why fiction matters. It’s hard to recall a more powerful novel in recent years.’ Samantha Harvey



Paul Lynch

Paul Lynch is the prize-winning author of the novels Prophet Song, Beyond the Sea, Grace, The Black Snow and Red Sky in Morning. His third novel Grace won the 2018...

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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 Smith, was...

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