Lunchtime Readings featuring prizewinning fiction writers who read from and talk about their recent work have been among the most popular events at recent John Hewitt International Summer Schools in Armagh, supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.
And this year’s Lunchtime series, which runs at The Market Place Theatre in Armagh from 22 to 26 July, starting at a later time of 1.30pm each day, will feature more best-selling authors, including Ann Cleeves, Kevin Barry and Jo Baker in conversation with some of Northern Ireland’s best-known writers including Jan Carson, Michael Hughes and Brian McGilloway.
The series begins on Monday 22 July with Sarah Moss, one of the UK’s very best contemporary novelists. Her highly acclaimed sixth novel “Ghost Wall”, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 and was chosen as a Book of the Year by The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Spectator & Financial Times.
Sarah will be in conversation with Michael Hughes, Co Armagh-born author of “The Countenance Divine” and “Country” which was announced recently as the winner of the 2019 London Hellenic Prize.
Ann Cleeves is the author behind ITV’s “Vera” and BBC One’s “Shetland”. She is the creator of detectives Vera Stanhope and Jimmy Perez: both the Vera Stanhope and Shetland series of novels have become major TV adaptations. Her latest book, “Wild Fire”, is the eighth and final book in the Shetland series. Her next book is the Long Call, the first in a brand new series of books featuring Detective Matthew Venn.
On Tuesday 23 July, during her conversation with Brian McGilloway, himself, one of Ireland’s best-known crime writers, local audiences will have a very special opportunity to listen to Anne Cleeves talk about her extraordinary career in crime fiction.
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is a Ugandan novelist and short story writer. Her first novel, “Kintu”, won the Kwani Manuscript Project 2013, She was awarded the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for her story “Let’s Tell This Story Properly” and Jennifer was a recipient of the prestigious Windham-Campbell Literature Prize in 2018. On Wednesday 24 July, Jennifer will be in conversation about her first full story collection. “Manchester Happened”, with Maureen Boyle, prizewinning poet, memoirist and teacher.
There will be a welcome return to JHISS on Thursday 25 July for Kevin Barry’s, one of Ireland’s most exciting and entertaining writers today, who will be talking about his darkly comic new novel, “Night Boat to Tangier”, to novelist Jan Carson, critically acclaimed author of the 2019 EU prize-winning novel, “The Fire Starters”.
Kevin Barry’s debut novel, “City of Bohane”, won the IMPAC award as well as the EU Prize for Literature, and was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award; his second novel, “Beatlebone”, won the Goldsmiths Prize. He earned much acclaim for his collections of short stories, “There Are Little Kingdoms” and “Dark Lies the Island”.
No stranger to Armagh, Lancashire-based Jo Baker, who is married to Armagh-born playwright and screenwriter, Daragh Carville, is the celebrated author of the five novels including the critically acclaimed and bestselling “Longbourn”which is due release as a feature film in 2020.
On Friday 26 July, Jo will take part in an interview with Professor Tess Maginess, QUB, about her new book, “The Body Lies”, a thrilling contemporary suspense novel that grapples with how to live as a woman in the modern world – or in a book – when the stakes are dangerously high.
Tickets for individual JHISS Lunchtime events cost £8 .00 and these are available at the Box Office at The Market Place Theatre, Tel. 028 3752 1821 or they may be booked online: www.vistarmagh.com/marketplacetheatre For further information see the Summer School brochure or website: www.johnhewittsociety.org