Best short story I’ve ever read:
VERY hard to pick one, but I’ll go for ‘Ida Y Vuelta’ in Manuel Muñoz’s new collection The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue. A tender, heart-aching story of gay love and (minor) betrayal in a small, Mexican-American neighbourhood in California. Masterful!
Book that should be on the national curriculum:
Silk – Alessandro Barrico. A real love story, beautifully told. (And gorgeously translated – no mean feat.)
Best film of the book I’ve seen:
The Wings of the Dove – Henry James. I found the book a struggle, the film a joy.
Best Irish literary magazine:
The Stinging Fly. A great supporter of the short story, the magazine is nicely produced and they have great launches!
My favourite opening line of a novel:
‘It was not a street anymore but a world, a time and space of falling ash and near night.’ from Falling Man – Don DeLillo
My favourite novel that no-one else seems to have heard of:
The Rack, by AE Ellis. A post-war novel about TB. Don’t be put off by that, it’s great: gritty, funny and human.
The book I’d most like to reread, if I could find it again:
My Dear Daughter, the sex education book my ma gave me at 12 years old. I threw it behind the bed. I want to know what it was in that book that offended me so much!
My favourite bookshop:
Charlie Byrne’s, Galway city, Ireland. Publishers overstock, second-hand & unusual bargains. A treasure house.
Author I’d like to nominate for the Nobel Prize for literature:
Manuel Muñoz – for his sincere, humane and stunningly well-written stories of the Latino community in California.
Deceased author I’d most like to share a flat with in 1950s New York:
Maeve Brennan. We’d have long, chatty dinners in Greenwich Village, while people-watching – as she loved to – and Maeve would put in a good word for me at The New Yorker, where she worked.