In this edition of Book Talk, host Ryan Van Winkle and Sasha de Buyl talk to Ron Butlin, Donal McLaughlin and Eimear McBride about family and place.
With an international reputation as a prize-winning novelist, Ron Butlin is a former Edinburgh Makar/Poet Laureate (2008-2014) whose fourth novel, Ghost Moon, is out now. The book tells the story in flashback of Maggie, a young woman in post-World War II Edinburgh who falls pregnant in a society that frowns on unwed mothers. Based on Ron’s own mother, the author explains where fact and fiction meet and discusses the writing process.
Born in Derry in 1961, but resident in Scotland since 1970, Donal McLaughlin is a freelance writer known for his short stories, a number of which have already appeared in translation. Donal’s latest collection, Beheading the Virgin Mary, and Other Stories, follows the character of Liam through a loose sequence of stories and take place over a period of three decades. Ron reads from the book and offers some insight into his technique which will be of interest to both readers and aspiring writers.
Finally, Sasha talks to author Eimear McBride, who was born in Liverpool to Northern Irish parents before moving to Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo. Eimear discusses the nine-year journey between the writing of her book, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, and its eventual publication and critical success.