Saturday, June 30, 2007

New titles in Galway City Library

Two Brothers, by Bernardo Atxaga; Random House
Atxaga is not just a Basque novelist but the Basque novelist: a writer charged, whether he likes it or not, with exporting a threatened culture around the world. Born in 1951, Atxaga grew up in a Basque-speaking valley of scattered houses and villages near San Sebastian. The two brothers of the title are orphaned in their adolescence. Paulo inherits the sawmill and too much responsibility, because his brother, Daniel, has a mental age of three. The brothers are trapped in their situation, which is in turn aggravated by their neighbours. Village life is tough, Atxaga says.
The Book of Happiness, by Nina Berberova ; New Directions
Berberova is a wonderous writer. A master of the long short story, she has been compared with Turgenev and Chekhov. In this wonderful novel about one woman's three love affairs, Berberova is uncannily shrewd about romance, about its bright promise, without making her characters real satisfactions seem trite. Even more important, those desiring happiness must understand each moment to be pregnant with the possibility of its arrival. Berberova's is a prose of small gestures, pregnant moments, and memories polished bright as sea pebbles by the constant tumbling of thought.

Shipwreck, by Louis Begley; Ballantine Books
A precious account of an American writer's love affair with a young Frenchwoman. John North is someone who has pretty much achieved everything he could hope for in life. In Paris to promote the French translation of one of his books, John is so overwhelmed by the burden of his persona that he accosts a perfect stranger in a café one night and proceeds to tell him the true story of his life. A novel of deception and betrayal

Friday, June 29, 2007

Children's Day this Sunday

Children's Day has been a successful annual event in Galway since 2002. This year's activities include the Amani acrobats, Galway City and County Childcare Committee's mobile playbus, face painters, the Agri-Aware mobile farm and the fire engine.

The Galway County Mobile Library will feature story-telling circles with special guest Megan Ross from South Africa. Among the live acts featured this year are Wanda, Colin Devaney and his Band, Bobo, DJ Oisín and DJs Erin and Shannon. There will be street theatre from Blue Teapot Theatre Company and anarchic Gombeens Theatre Troupe. Other activities include rugby, basketball, soccer and football.

HSE West, Galway City Council, City of Galway VEC and the Galway City & County Childcare Committee have come together to organise Children's Day on Sunday 1 July in Eyre Square, Galway from 2pm to 4pm.

As a special contribution to Children's Day in Galway, Bus Éireann is providing free bus travel for children within the city limits between 1.30pm and 4.30pm. All activities and entertainment are provided free of charge.

For further information about Children's Day in Galway, phone 091-752039 or

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Ballybane Exhibition

An exhibition of the work of 12 travellers aged between 13 and 18 years of age was officially opened by the Mayor of Galway, Councillor Tom Costello on Thursday 21st June.

The inspiration and subject of the art work on display comes from the young artists own experiences and environment. The young artists worked under the direction of Terry Callaly a teacher and artist who specialises in art and special education.

The painting on the left is entitled 'First Caution' and is a group work by the Traveller Youth project.
The names of the artists who have work on display in the exhibition are:

  • Jimmy McDonagh
  • Mary Teresa Collins
  • Brigid Mongan
  • Lisa Mongan
  • Brigid Donovan
  • Donna Donovan
  • Charlie Collins
  • Michael Mongan
  • Ger Barry
  • Martin Collins, his painting 'Lone Star State of Mind', is above.

This is an exhibition which radiates warmth and openness. It is an exhibition by young artists who want to express something human, eloquent, beautiful and vibrant.

The exhibition was initiated by BÁN, a community based youth development project operated by Foroige, funded by the Department of Justice and the Ballybane Traveller Youth Project

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Carnegie & Greenaway Children's Book Awards 70th anniversary winners

Meg Rosoff has won the 2007 CILIP Carnegie Medal for ‘Just In Case’, her second novel for young people. As the CILIP Carnegie Medal celebrates its 70th anniversary, Rosoff joins the ranks of distinguished children’s writers of the 20th & 21st centuries who have won this coveted medal since its inception in 1937.

'To me,” says Rosoff,“the CILIP Carnegie Medal is particularly special. ‘Just In Case’ is the sort of book that people either love or hate; that they either identify with, or they don’t. For a panel of librarians to agree that it deserves this historic medal is just amazing; I’m thrilled, honoured and astonished.”

The CILIP Carnegie Medal celebrates its 70th Anniversary in 2007. It is the UK’s longest running and most respected award for children’s writing. Over the last seven decades it has come to be regarded as the arbiter of quality in writing for children and young people. Since 1937, the children’s librarians who annually select the short list and winning title, have recognised world class writers and frequently spotted fresh talent ahead of the market. Meg Rosoff joins the list of past Medal winners that includes many of the great writers of 20th and 21st centuries: Eleanor Farjeon, Anne Fine, Elizabeth Goudge, CS Lewis, Mary Norton, Noel Streatfeild, Philip Pullman and David Almond to name a few.

It’s a case of third time lucky for author-illustrator Mini Grey, who has scooped the 2007 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal, the UK’s oldest and most prestigious award for children’s book illustration, after being shortlisted three times in the past four years.

Her book ’The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon’, which relates what happens after the dish and the spoon run away together at the end of the nursery rhyme. The devoted duo find fame and fortune stateside with an acrobatic circus act, but when the money runs out, they fall in with some shady sharp knives, and pay a heavy price for turning to a life of crime

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Added to stock at Galway City Library:

Readers may be interested in the following books which have been added to stock at Galway City Library:

Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems, by Diane Ackerman. Vintage; Reprint edition

Her best poems keep bursting off the prescribed limits of the page in the same way that great paintings burst their frames. Ackerman has energy, wit, courage, and passion. All of her is in each poem, and this 'all' reveals a woman of sensitivity, restraint, ingenuity, and passionate daring. Diane Ackerman has been hailed by several critics not only for her poetry but for her prose explorations into the world of science and natural history.

Julius Winsome, by Gerard Donovan. Faber & Faber

The title character of this novel lives alone in the deep woods of Maine, home to men “who cannot live anywhere else.” Donovan depicts Winsome's wounded humanity and psychological distress with great compassion and subtlety and vividly draws both the supporting characters and the bleak, foreboding Maine landscape. Donovan's command of language is astonishingly precise, eerily reflecting Julius's disarmingly mild-mannered pathology as it ascribes no more importance to the cold-blooded shooting of a hunter than to going into town for groceries. Finely tooled outsider fiction, as chilling as it is ultimately humane.

Bornholm Night-Ferry, by Aidan Higgins. Dalkey Archive Press

Higgins records a passionate, doomed epistolary love affair between Elin Marstrander, a 33-year-old radio writer and Finn "Fitz" Fitzgerald, a man 15 years her senior. The novel tracks five years of the lovers' correspondence, following the first time they meet on holiday in Spain in 1975. This haunting meditation on love and textuality will be much appreciated. Aidan Higgins is part of a rich history of Irish writers, and is often mentioned as a successor to such great Irish writers of the twentieth century as Frank O'Connor, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, and Brian O Nualláin. (Literature Resource Centre).

Petterson's Out Stealing Horses wins IMPAC literary award

Norwegian, Per Petterson's Out Stealing Horses by has won the 12th International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, it was announced at a ceremony in Dublin's City Hall on Thursday. Petterson's book, published by Harvill Secker, was the only translated work on this year's shortlist.

The winner was selected by a panel of five international judges, who had earlier drawn up a shortlist from 138 novels nominated by 169 libraries in 49 countries.

"That's the beauty of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. It draws our attention to good books and to authors that we might otherwise never have heard about," said Dublin's Lord Mayor Vincent Jackson, who presented the award.

Anne Born, who translated Out Stealing Horses from the original Norwegian into English, will receive 25,000 euros (33,00 dollars) out of the 100,000-euro prize.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Read today…rewrite your tomorrows

Playwright and screenwriter Neil Donnelly will be in Leenane Library on Friday night 15th June 2007 at 8.00pm when he conduct an exploration of some of the interesting fiction and poetry to be found on the shelves of Leenane Library.

Among the books to be found in the Leenane library is a new edition of Don Quixote. This book was a bestseller when it first appeared in 1605 and has continued to sell ever since. In 2002, 100 major writers from 54 countries rated Don Quixote the world's best work of fiction. This new translation has been delivered in plain but plentiful contemporary English. It has been said that this Don Quixote can be read with the same ease as the latest Philip Roth.
Also in the library is Giovanni Guareschi’s famous Little World of Don Camillo. Guareschi’s series of Don Camillo novels humorously detail the perpetual competition between a village priest, Don Camillo, and the village's Communist mayor, Peppone, as they vie for the villagers' favour.
You will also find Dante’s Inferno, a book that has inspired readers for 700 years, and has entered the human imagination.

Also in the library is In memory of My Feelings, a selection of the poetry of Frank O’Hara. O'Hara's poems made poetry seem as natural as breathing. He liked composing on the run, living in the heart of noise. He dashed off numerous poems on his lunch break. O’Hara, who is of Irish ancestry, spent many years working at The Museum of Modern Art in New York before his untimely death in 1966. The book was edited by the poet Bill Berkson who invited thirty artists who had known O’Hara, ranging from Willem de Kooning to Claes Oldenburg, from Joan Mitchell to Jasper Johns, to produce works to accompany his poems. It is a beautiful book.

Neil Donnelly will also look at and read from the book Watching the River Flow, a fine anthology published by Poetry Ireland, which offers an extensive survey of a century of Irish poetry.

Come along and join us for an enjoyable evening in Leenane on Friday evening June 15th. Admission is free.

Impac Dublin Literary Award

The winner of the International Impac Dublin Literary Award will be announced on 14 June.

Sebastian Barry's book 'A Long Long Way' has been shortlisted for this year's award. Eight novels are featured on the shortlist for the €100,000 prize, including books by Salman Rushdie, JM Coetzee, Julian Barnes and Cormac McCarthy.
The Impac, which is the world's largest literary prize for a single work of fiction, is chosen from nominations submitted by libraries around the world.

Last year, novelist Colm Tóibín became the first Irish writer to win the award with 'The Master'.

This years shortlist includes:

'A Long Long Way' by Sebastian Barry
'Arthur and George' by Julian Barnes
'Slow Man' by JM Coetzee
'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' by Jonathan Safran Foes
'The Short Day Dying' by Peter Hobbs
'No Country for Old Men' by Cormac McCarthy
'Out Stealing Horses' by Per Petterson
'Shalimar The Clown' by Salman Rushdie

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Introducing some of the interesting fiction and poetry to be found on the shelves of Eyrecourt Library

Playwright and screenwriter Neil Donnelly will be in Eyrecourt Library on Thursday night, 14th of June 2007 at 8.00pm when he will introduce and talk about some of the interesting fiction and poetry to be found on the shelves of the library.

He will look at and read from Robin Skelton’s selections from the work of Six Irish Poets including Austin Clarke and John Montague.

He will talk about Ferlinghetti’sA coney island of the mind’, a book that has become a modern classic. It has been translated into nine languages and there are now three quarters of a million copies in print.

He will also take a look at the book Innovations’, a collection of stories which brings together some of the most interesting and innovative American fiction writers since the 1930s.

Ovid’s epic poem Metamorphoses – whose theme of change has resonated throughout the ages- is one of the most important texts of the Western imagination, will be introduced. This new translation gives us an Ovid for our times and reminds us that in our times Ovid is everywhere.

There will be a brief reading from James Joyce’s brilliant novella Portrait of the Artist as a young man, the exhuberantly inventive, coming-of-age story on the relationship of an artist to his family, culture and race.

And we sold the rain, short stories from Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua which powerfully evoke life in these countries, will also be looked at.

There will be readings from the work of the Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez (1910-1042), a poet whose works ‘beams with a gentleness of heart’

Poems by Anna Akhmatova, Russia’s finest woman poet, will be available. Akhmatova’s theme was always love. The simple lyricism with which she developed her theme is unequaled in contemporary Russian verse.

Come along and join us for an enjoyable evening in Eyrecourt on Thursday. Admission is free.

There Are the Words
There are the words that couldn’t be twice said,
He, who said once, spent out all his senses.
Only two things have never their end –
The heavens’ blue and the Creator’s mercy.

Anna Akhmatova

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, August, 2000 Edited by Orit Bonver, August 2000