Hay Festival Kells, Part 1: Reflections on Michael Harding

Michael Harding

Michael Harding

Sometimes it feels as if Michael Harding was born at the age of 58, middle-aged and fully-formed. A performer, an actor, a novelist, a memoirist and a playwright, he has come to inhabit that great unfathomable of the popular consciousness only over the past few years.

Staring At Lakes, his first memoir, a chronicle of depression and love and the jagged line between the two, won the Irish Book of the Year award in 2013. It was followed by Hanging With The Elephant last year and a weekly Irish Times column about life in the Irish midlands. From Cavan, his prose has echoes of the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh from neighbouring Monaghan, recognising beauty “in the habitual, the banal”.

Continue reading “Hay Festival Kells, Part 1: Reflections on Michael Harding”

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The question of John Banville’s legacy

John Banville

Picture via patrickbolger.com

With confirmation that John Banville will be part of the writing team for a major new crime series slated to screen next year, and the Booker Prize winner seemingly increasingly besotted by the lure of commercial crime (in both book and television form), it could be an opportune time to the evaluate whether this late career shift in focus will have any impact on his legacy – and if that is the case, should anyone care. Continue reading “The question of John Banville’s legacy”