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Irish PEN: Writing Memoir
Thursday, May 10, 2012 from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM (BST)
Authors Lia Mills, Sheila Maher and Molly McCluskey discuss writing memoir, tips and techniques.
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Lia Mills writes novels, short stories and literary non-fiction. She has worked on several public art commissions.
Her first novel, Another Alice (1996) was nominated for the Irish Times Irish fiction prize. Her second novel Nothing Simple (2005) was shortlisted for the Irish Novel of the Year at the inaugural Irish Book Awards. Her most recent book In Your Face (2007), a memoir of her diagnosis of and treatment for oral cancer, was named as a favourite book of 2007 by several commentators.
Born in Dublin, she has lived in London and America before returning to Ireland in 1990.
Molly McCloskey was born in Philadelphia and grew up in North Carolina and Oregon. In 1989, she moved to Ireland, spending ten years on the west coast before moving to Dublin, where she now lives. She is the author of two short story collections, Solomon’s Seal and The Beautiful Changes, and a novel, Protection. Her first work of non-fiction - Circles Around the Sun: In Search of a Lost Brother - appeared in 2011 and was named by the Sunday Times (UK) as its Memoir of the Year. It was published by Penguin Ireland in the UK/Ireland, and will be published in the US in 2012 by Overlook Press.
In the 1970s, for a nine-year-old in Dublin, a Tea Time Express cake was a treat almost beyond imagining, a whole packet of Tayto to yourself was a rarity and the weekly forcing-down of your mum’s meatloaf an all-too-familiar ordeal. In Six at the Table, Sheila Maher tells the story of her childhood through the meals her family shared around the kitchen table (and occasionally from the boot of the car on those long journeys to reach faraway campsites) – an atmospheric celebration of family and the central role that the food lovingly prepared by her mother played in her young years.
From sliced egg, beetroot and ham salad picnics on summer days, the ice cream from Teddy’s that marked the end of the summer holidays and the warmth of the milk puddings that hurried up the passage of the winter weeks, Six at the Table is a nostalgic journey through an Irish childhood in the 1970s, when uniforms were itchy, porridge stuck to your ribs and Cidona felt like the height of sophistication.
John MacKenna is the author of 16 books - novels, short-story collections, poetry, the memoir Things You Should Know and the biography of Ernest Shackleton An Irishman in Antarctica. He has also written a number of stage and radio plays - several of which were broadcast on RTE Radio 1.
His works have won the Irish Times; C Day Lewis and Hennessy Awards.
His radio documentaries on Leonard Cohen won him a Jacobs Radio Award.
He is currently working on a novel.
When & Where
Irish PEN had its first meeting in June 1935. It is an association of Irish Writers, associate members and friends concerned in the written word, in freedom of expression and in the love of Literature. Irish PEN is affiliated to PEN International.