28 Nov 2023

Ireland: punching above its literary weight?

From Nights, 9:08 pm on 28 November 2023

The Booker Prize was announced earlier this week - it went to Irish writer Paul Lynch for his dystopian novel "Prophet Song" - but Paul Lynch wasn't the only Irish writer shortlisted for the award. In fact, he wasn't even the only Irish writer named Paul to make the shortlist - The Bee Sting, by Paul Murray, was also on there. Two other Irish writers made the Booker LONG-list. And that's quite apart from other writers like Sally Rooney, who's pulling up trees wherever she goes Of course, Ireland has an incredibly rich literary tradition - from George Bernard Shaw to James Joyce, to Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and WB Yeats, to name but a few. So what is it about this little island nation north-west of Europe that allows it to produce such lyrical, erudite authors? Matthew Ryan is an expert in Irish Literature at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne.