Literary elite to attend Listowel Writers’ Week

DOUBLE Booker Prize winner JM Coetzee will be among the literary luminaries attending Listowel Writers’ Week from May 31 to June 4 next.

The 65-year-old novelist, winner of the Noble Prize for literature in 2003, has drawn from the history and politics of his native South Africa, especially apartheid, for his work.

Also in Listowel will be Booker Prize winner John Banville and Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt, as well as Clive James, Ed Moloney, Lionel Shriver, Rita Ann Higgins, Philip Ó Ceallaigh and Claire Kilroy.

Writer Colm Toibín, one of five authors shortlisted for the IMPAC literary prize, is president of the 36th annual Listowel literary festival, now regarded as one of the top events of its kind.

The main prize will be the €10,000 Kerry Group Literary Award, for which the following five authors have been shortlisted: John Banville for The Sea; Dermot Bolger for The Family on Paradise Pier; Sebastian Barry for A Long Long Way; Jennifer Johnston for Grace and Truth; and Nick Laird for Utterly Monkey.

Novelist John McGahern, who died last month, was a former winner of the award, and this year’s recipient will be named at the opening of the festival.

Announcing the details of this year’s festival at the National Library in Dublin yesterday, organising committee chairperson Joanna Keane O’Flynn said: “Writers’ Week has an inviting and unrivalled programme. We are the undisputed Cheltenham of literary festivals.”

* An incorrect report on the launch of Writers’ Week was published in error in yesterday’s Irish Examiner.

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