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5 captivating new books from Irish authors out this month

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03rd Sep 2020
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Even though Covid has rendered our day-to-day utterly different, books and their stories have remained a constant comfort and Irish authors continue to be at the top of their game. Here is just a small selection of the reads we’ve been devouring this month. And to whet your literary appetite even further, join us in The Reading Room, in partnership with An Post, sponor of the Irish Book Awards,for an evening with John Boyne, for free, on September 3. 

A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ni Ghríofa 


This is a highly anticipated debut in which two stories are weaved together. In the 1700s, an Irish noblewoman, discovering her husband has been murdered, drinks handfuls of his blood and composes an extraordinary poem. In the present day, a young mother encounters the poem and becomes obsessed with finding out the rest of the story. Quite simply, enchanting. 

Tramp Press, approx €15.99, out now 

Register for The Reading Room: An Evening with John Boyne, for free here

 As You Were by Elaine Feeney 

This one centres on Sinéad Hynes, a tough, young property developer who receives a devastating diagnosis on the Day of the Magpie. She vows not to tell anyone but that shiny bird that she’s sick. Besides, she will be fine. Until, one day, she’s not. And it’s getting harder to keep it to herself. Her husband Alex thinks it’s an infection that’s caused her heart failure and landed her in a High Dependency Unit. With three unforgettable female characters and prose that is imaginative and vivacious, it’s a remarkable debut. 

Harvill Secker, approx €15.99, out now

Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan 

Crossan’s debut novel for adults is beautifully told in verse; the story of an illicit love affair that Connor and Ana have been conducting for three years. Both are married. Then, a tragedy. Ana, a grieving ‘other woman’ struggles to come to terms with her former lover’s sudden death and tries to hold on to him by any means possible – including attempting to forge a bond with the woman she once thought to be her adversary. The Irish writer’s dark yet delicate insight into the problematic, complicated relationships we have with those around us makes for a captivating read.

Bloomsbury Circus, approx 13.99, out now

Register for The Reading Room: An Evening with John Boyne, for free here

A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom by John Boyne

The Irish author is at his most ambitious here, with this, an epic tale which spans 2,000 years. We meet the unnamed narrator, his father M, mother F, brother J, sister A, betrayer H and over the course of the chapters, each are reincarnated in different places and historical periods, from ancient Rome to Asia, Afghanistan, London and many more. While the settings differ, the essential relationships stay the same. It’s a complex journey to follow and unlike any of Boyne’s previous work, which makes it work all the more.

Boyne is in conversation with IMAGE on September 3, as part of The Reading Room series. Register for this free virtual event here.

Doubleday, approx 11.99, out now  

Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea by Patrick Freyne

It is no easy task to look back on your own actions in life with such flair and wit as Freyne does with his debut essay collection. With picture-perfect snapshots of Ireland to Cork and beyond, this is a journalist who knows what it is to tell a great story. He may have done some stupid things – what five-year-old wouldn’t open a gate and let a horse out of its field, just to see what would happen? – but he has also lived a life as funny and strange as anyone might, though it shines a little brighter told from his perspective. You won’t forget this one in a hurry.

And if you want more Freyne, he, along with Sinead Gleeson, Naoise Dolan and Liz Nugent, also joined us in The Reading Room, in partnership with An Post. Read more about that here.

Penguin Ireland, approx 15.99, out September 17

An Post is the sponsor of the Irish Book Awards. 

To register for The Reading Room: An Evening with John Boyne for free, click here. To submit a question for John Boyne, click here.

Follow along on social using #ReadersWanted.

IMAGE presents The Reading Room: An Evening with John Boyne, in partnership with An Post, following the success of Literature in Lockdown, featuring Patrick Freyne, Sinead Gleeson, Naoise Dolan and Liz Nugent. For more on this virtual event, which was held in June, see here