Bloomsbury to bring “Dublin’s Trainspotting” to the masses

here are the young menDebut novelist Rob Doyle is the latest young Irish writer to have made the independent-to-major-publishing-house route to success, with Bloomsbury securing rights for his Dublin-set Here Are The Young Men.

Originally published by Lilliput Press, Here Are The Young Men will now be given a Bloomsbury release in the UK and Ireland this September, followed by the US next year.

Alexa von Hirschberg, Commissioning Editor at Bloomsbury, says, “Here Are the Young Men is a fierce, shocking, blackly comic wild ride of a novel – a powerful literary statement about the lives of disaffected and disillusioned young people.

“Rob Doyle does for Dublin what Irvine Welsh did for Edinburgh in Trainspotting. Brave, insightful, philosophical and heartbreaking, it introduces a talented writer at the beginning of what will be a long career.”

Seriously high praise, and fantastic news for Rob, who has written for journals including The Dublin Review, The Stinging Fly and Gorse.

Describing his book in an interview in Gorse, Doyle says it is

…a novel set in Dublin in 2003 […] about a bunch of hard-drinking, drug-abusing, fairly disturbed youngsters, who have finished school, have finished their Leaving Cert, and fall under the malign sway of their psychopathic friend Joseph Kearney, who urges them on to begin committing transgressive acts, which become more extreme and more disturbing as their first summer of freedom goes on. And everything goes to hell, more or less.

Read the full Gorse interview here

Doyle joins Eimear McBride (Galley Beggar Press to Faber), Donal Ryan (Lilliput Press to Doubleday) and Colin Barrett (Stinging Fly Press to Jonathan Cape) as Irish writers treading a path from independent publisher to major powerhouse.

Those three predecessors saw their books claim several awards, and if von Hirschberg’s praise is anything to go by Doyle could be following in their footsteps in that regard too when the 2014 prize-giving season kicks off in earnest in the autumn.


Paris, a new Irish publisher and a crowdfunded opening offering

The illustration for "Eveline" by Stephen Crowe

The illustration for “Eveline” by Stephen Crowe

Well, this is exciting. Three of the world’s most beautiful things – books, crowdfunding and Paris – have come together with the launch of a brand new Irish publishing house based in the French capital.

de Selby Press has been co-founded by Linda Fallon (who I’m delighted to know actually exists – she’s Irish, has been based in Paris for seven years or so and is the head book-buyer of enduringly iconic Paris bookshop Shakespeare & Company) and Terry Craven (a Yorkshire man, a writer and also a bookseller in the same store).

The de Selby Press describes itself as a small Irish press based in Paris, with the remit to publish “any impractical incarnation of Franco-Hibernian wordiness that appeals to us”.

It’s starting out with a crowdfunded new 100th anniversary illustrated edition of James Joyce’s Dubliners, and the good news is that Linda, Terry (and team?) are already more than halfway towards their €10,000 funding target.

The new book will be illustrated by Stephen Crowe (his latest piece, to accompany “Eveline”, is above) while funders can benefit from a range of rewards, including copies of the first edition, a recording of “The Lass of Aughrim” recorded exclusively for the project by the wonderful Lisa Hannigan and a print of one of Crowe’s illustrations. (Not to mention the ebook download, which is as always, thankfully, the poor relation in the list of book-related treasures.)

But why listen to just me? Here’s Linda and Terry talking about the project:

If you would like to support the project, from as little as €5, click here for the de Selby Press Dubliners page on Ulule.