This six-bedroom home with a ‘a Christmas tree forest’ is on the market for €1.25 million
This six-bedroom home with a ‘a Christmas tree forest’ is on the market for €1.25...

Sarah Finnan

This Howth home has been given a bright, airy refurb
This Howth home has been given a bright, airy refurb

Megan Burns

A seafront Skerries home has been given a luxe update with rich colours and hotel-inspired details
A seafront Skerries home has been given a luxe update with rich colours and hotel-inspired...

Megan Burns

A stylist’s guide to chic beach cover-ups
A stylist’s guide to chic beach cover-ups

Sinead Keenan

The IMAGE Father’s Day Gift Guide
The IMAGE Father’s Day Gift Guide

Holly O'Neill

Modern food and wellness expert Aisling Larkin on her life in food
Modern food and wellness expert Aisling Larkin on her life in food

Sarah Gill

Women in Sport: Para-cyclist Richael Timothy
Women in Sport: Para-cyclist Richael Timothy

Sarah Gill

The Irish fashion design graduates to watch
The Irish fashion design graduates to watch

Ruth O'Connor

New Bridgerton episodes and Inside Out 2 – what to watch this week
New Bridgerton episodes and Inside Out 2 – what to watch this week

Sarah Finnan

WIN four tickets to Taste of Dublin 2024
WIN four tickets to Taste of Dublin 2024

IMAGE

Image / Living / Culture

17 forthcoming Irish titles to add to your autumn reading list


By Sarah Gill
10th Aug 2023
17 forthcoming Irish titles to add to your autumn reading list

From memoirs and political analysis to coming of age fiction and long-awaited sequels, here are the Irish books to look out for this coming autumn…

We’re not even at the midpoint of August yet and it’s already been an exceptionally good month for Irish literature. Just last week, four Irish authors made history as they totalled one third of the 13 authors on the Booker Prize 2023 longlist — making Ireland the country to produce the most nominees in the Prize’s 54-year history.

The nominees are Sebastian Barry with Old God’s Time, Elaine Feeney with How to Build a Boat, Paul Lynch with Prophet Song, and Paul Murray with The Bee Sting. Including this year’s longlistees, a grand total of 37 Irish writers have been recognized by the Booker Prize, making Ireland the country that has produced the most nominees, relative to population size, in the prize’s history.

Between that and Sophie White becoming the first Irish writer to win the Shirley Jackson Award for Where I End and Louise Kennedy’s Trespasses being shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2023, homegrown talent is making it big on the international stage — and with good reason.

So, with that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best upcoming releases that should be on your radar ahead of their publication this autumn. Here’s what to preorder and curl up with over the coming months…

The Cures of Ireland by Cecily Gilligan

17 August

Almost everyone in Ireland, particularly in rural communities, will know of someone with a ‘cure’. It might be for the mumps or for a stye in the eye, indeed the author of Cures of Ireland, Cecily Gilligan was herself cured of jaundice and ringworm by a ‘seventh son’ in her local Sligo during her childhood. Cecily Gilligan has been researching the rich world of Irish folk medicine for almost forty years, interviewing people around the country who possess these mystical cures, their families and those who have benefited from their gifts. In this beautiful book, Gilligan has profiled ninety-three women and men, of all ages, with a wide variety of cures, most in her native north-west who continue to dispense their cures to this day.

Learned By Heart, by Emma Donoghue

24 August

Known for her gripping historical fiction, Emma Donoghue returns with a breathtaking story of two young girls on the margins of life, forging a connection that will last forever. Set in 1805, the book follows Eliza, a schoolgirl at the Manor School for Young Ladies in York and the daughter of an Indian mother and a British father, as she’s banished from Madras to an unfamiliar country. At the school, she keeps her head down and follows all the rules, until the arrival of a charismatic and fearless new student, Anne Lister. The two outsiders are thrown together and soon Eliza’s life is turned upside down by this remarkable young woman.

Lazy City by Rachel Connolly

24 August

Following the death of her best friend, Erin has to get out of London. Returning home to Belfast, an au pair job provides a partial refuge from her grief and her volatile relationship with her mother. Erin spends late nights at the bar where her childhood friend Declan works. There she meets an American academic who is also looking to get lost. Parallel to this, she reconnects with an old flame, Mikey. This brings its own web of complications. With a startlingly fresh and original voice , Lazy City depicts the strange, meandering aftermath that follows disaster.

This is my Sea by Miriam Mulcahy

24 August

Over the course of seven difficult years Miriam Mulcahy lost her mother, father and sister, each grief threatening to drown her. But instead of going under she discovered the lessons of the sea, learning to swim, letting the water teach her how to get through anything in life: one breath builds on another, another stroke, another kick and you will get home.

Tales of the Otherworld by Anne Doyle

28 August

Anne Doyle has a dark side: an affinity for the ghoulish, unexplainable and supernatural. Reincarnated as the mistress of macabre, Ireland’s best-loved newsreader delights in presenting Tales of the Otherworld, a fabulously frightful anthology of Irish ghost stories that have thrilled, unnerved and, for better or worse, stayed with her over the years. Discover the very best of Irish ghost writing, from national treasures such as W.B. Yeats and Bram Stoker to contemporary work from Deirdre Sullivan and Roisín O’Donnell, each accompanied by charming, witty commentary from Anne herself.

The Wren, The Wren by Anne Enright

31 August

A contemporary novel of daughterhood and motherhood, from the Booker Prize-winning Irish author Anne Enright, The Wren, The Wren tells the story of Carmel, who had been alone all her life, and when her daughter sets out into the world, she finds her family history hard to escape, opening a space in her heart where the turmoil of a lifetime begins to churn. This multigenerational novel traces the inheritance not just of trauma but also of wonder, it is a testament to the glorious resilience of women in the face of promises false and true.

Aisling Ever After by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen

31 August

Living in the Big Apple feels like a movie, especially when Aisling finds her ex-boyfriend John on her doorstep. Can his new-found devotion (and his new six-pack!) lure her back home, or should she continue to chase the American dream with the Irish Mafia and Jeff the ridey fireman? Meanwhile, in Ballygobbard, it’s all go. Baby showers are the new hen parties, mammy and Dr Trevor are more serious than Aisling thought, and the prospect of two evil stepsisters has her doubting her place in the family. Pulled between head, heart and home, Aisling strives to finally create her own happy ever after.

So Late in the Day by Claire Keegan

31 August

After an uneventful Friday at the Dublin office, Cathal faces into the long weekend and takes the bus home. There, his mind agitates over a woman named Sabine with whom he could have spent his life, had he acted differently. All evening, with only the television and a bottle of champagne for company, thoughts of this woman and others intrude – and the true significance of this particular date is revealed. From one of the finest writers working today, Keegan’s new story asks if a lack of generosity might ruin what could be between men and women.

The Long Game by Aoife Moore

7 September

Sinn Féin is the most popular political party in both Northern Ireland and the Republic. A party once synonymous with a paramilitary campaign is on the brink of taking real power through purely democratic means. But if Sinn Féin has mastered the art of electoral politics, it remains strangely opaque. Who really runs the party? How is it funded? And what can we expect of it as a party of government?

Prophet Song by Paul Lynch

7 September

On a dark, wet evening in Dublin, scientist and mother-of-four Eilish Stack answers her front door to find the GNSB on her doorstep. Two officers from Ireland’s newly formed secret police want to speak with her husband, Larry, a trade unionist for the Teachers’ Union of Ireland. Things are falling apart. Ireland is in the grip of a government that is taking a turn towards tyranny. And as the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, Eilish finds herself caught within the nightmare logic of a collapsing society — assailed by unpredictable forces beyond her control and forced to do whatever it takes to keep her family together.

An Invitation To the Kennedys by Emily Hourican

14 September

Kathleen ‘Kick’ Kennedy, recently arrived from Boston, is already a huge hit in 1930s London society. As the daughter of the US ambassador, she is at the centre of the most elite social circles. But when she falls for a duke-in-waiting, she realises there are plenty of people who think she doesn’t belong. Lady Brigid Guinness has no interest in love, marriage or society connections, but her brother-in-law, always seeking to increase his political capital, has other ideas – and invites the Kennedys to join his family, Brigid included, and some friends for a holiday at his country estate. Here, the two young women bond as Brigid is pushed towards a match with a dull German prince and Kick desperately tries to keep hope alive for her budding romance.

We Need to Talk by Tony Holohan

21 September

Dr Tony Holohan served as Chief Medical Officer in Ireland for 14 years, but only really became known to the public during the Covid 19 pandemic. During this time his remarkable leadership skills came to the fore and he became the public face of the pandemic, helping to steer the nation through the biggest public health crisis in Ireland’s modern history. However, while dealing with the most serious pandemic in a century in his professional life, he was also enduring challenges at home. His beloved wife of 25 years, Emer, was battling cancer, and died in February 2021. This remarkable book reflects on these experiences and inspires us to have those difficult conversations that ultimately make life more meaningful.

Body of Truth by Marie Cassidy

5 October

Dr Terry O’Brien has recently arrived in Ireland from Scotland to take up a position as state pathologist. Soon after, a body is found in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. Rachel Reece, host of the popular true crime podcast Ireland’s Missing Women , has been brutally murdered. As Terry gathers evidence to help with the police investigation, she becomes convinced that they are following the wrong line of inquiry and begins her own research. She soon finds herself in the thick of cold cases of murdered Irish women, with questions mounting. What did Rachel Reece find out about the unsolved murder of Eileen McCarthy before she died? Who is feeding Terry anonymous information about the podcaster’s endeavours? And why do the powers that be seem to want to thwart her at every turn?

The I’m Grand Mamual by PJ Kirby and Kevin Twomey

12 October

PJ Kirby and Kevin Twomey are two self-proclaimed mammy’s boys from Cork who are always up for a skit. The I’m Grand Mamual is their hilarious and heart-warming ode to their mammies, Phil and Nuala. Taking a different well-worn phrase, Kevin and PJ recount wild experiences from their lives – from coming out, holidays and money management to dating, hustling and sustainability – where the phrase has rung true, proving that mam always knows best.

Water by John Boyne

4 November

From internationally bestselling author John Boyne comes a masterfully reflective story about one woman coming to terms with the demons of her past and finding a new path forward. The first thing Vanessa Carvin does when she arrives on the island is change her name. To the locals, she is Willow Hale, a solitary outsider escaping Dublin to live a hermetic existence in a small cottage, not a notorious woman on the run from her past. But scandals follow like hunting dogs. And she has some questions of her own to answer. If her ex-husband is really the monster everyone says he is, then how complicit was she in his crimes?

Dear Gay by Suzy Byrne

2 November

For 25 years, Gay Byrne received thousands of letters from listeners all over Ireland. Some of these letters were light-hearted and innocent, but others were more challenging. While many people didn’t feel comfortable sharing their issues with their closest family and friends, they felt that they could trust Gay. And, so, they wrote in their droves …With his trademark balance of compassion, empathy and humour, Gay read out letters on subjects such as women’s rights, domestic and institutional abuse, mental health and homosexuality, sparking nationwide conversation and debate. The letters here have been lovingly compiled by Gay’s daughter Suzy, who provides commentary about the times in which they were written and the impact they made, on a personal and national level, once they were read on air.

Topographia Hibernica by Blindboy Boatclub

16 November

This is the world not as you see it, but as it is, twisted from the maverick mind of Blindboy Boatclub. These are stories of the strange unsettlings in the souls of men caught in between the past and the possible; stories of heart-blinding rage and disquieting compassion. Taking its title from a twelfth-century English manuscript of the same name, which dehumanised the people and culture of Ireland to facilitate domination, Topographia Hibernica is a collection that unravels the knotted threads of humanity, nature and colonisation from a contemporary Irish perspective.

Feature image via Unsplash