Irish Noir

Noireland, Belfast

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Troubles trash abroad

By Daniel Magennis, M.A. Candidate, Queen’s University, Belfast

Higgins abroad

 

Thrillers which take Troubles-era Ireland as their subject matter form a distinct genre in their own right. The Troubles Thriller, or Troubles Trash, as it is sometimes known, has become the primary form of literary representation of Northern Ireland and its benighted capital Belfast (which has itself been described as “the noirest city on earth”). While the novels might be didactically unremarkable and have done little to challenge the tabloid representations on offer, some met with considerable commercial success both within and outside of the English-speaking world.

Furie IWD

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Doing justice to the Irish border landscape: An interview with Anthony Quinn

Lough neagh


Hello, Anthony Quinn.  Welcome here.  Many thanks for accepting to answer some questions, ahead of next week’s Belfast Conference on Representations of the Rural in Crime Fiction.  We are really looking forward to it . You will be in No Alibis on Monday, to talk about your writing, together with Brian McGilloway and Andrew Pepper.  

 To begin with, in which literary tradition would you consider yourself belonging?

Although I write crime fiction I aspire, perhaps a little grandiosely, to writing within an older Irish tradition, a peasant literature that is about a fugitive, almost magical sense of place and belonging, and the crimes that are committed by dislocated people and societies, the same tradition say as JB Keane’s The Field, or the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh.

Is there something like a rural school within Irish Noir? Continue reading

Names & Places of Irish Noir

WordItOut-word-cloud-Irish Noir

This is a word cloud story of Irish Noir. It is based on a corpus of 280 novels published between 1994 and 2015. The story told by the data represented here details a population of authors, ordered by the respective size of their outputs.  This word cloud indicates  the most productive authors; it suggests that the label “Irish Noir” designates a relatively small, but significant group of writers.

The next representation is based on these authors’ s places of birth.

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In contrast to the previous one, and to where the action of Irish noir series are set (Jack Taylor’s Galway, Ben Devlin’s Strabane-Lifford Borderlands, Sean Duffy’s Carrickfergus, Ed Loy’s Dublin…), the third cloud here reflects  the place of publication of their books. It shows that Irish Noir is actually made in Britain. And to a lesser extent in America. But it also indicates an emergence, of a number of publication places in Ireland : in Dublin, but as well in county Kerry, with Dingle as the headquarters  of a publishing house actively engaged in  the Irish noir phenomenon (Brandon).

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The Irish Crime Week Giveaway!

Following the Roddy Doyle giveaway last week (which was won by Col at The Only Way is Reading), this week I have a crime related prize up for grabs!

_DRB5180 Photo: DRB Images

As I’m going to be spending the week reading and reviewing Irish Crime Fiction, I’m offering one lucky winner signed copies of Eoin McNamee’s Blue is the Colour and Stuart Neville’s The Final Silence, along with a rather nifty tote bag from Northern Ireland’s greatest bookshop – No Alibis (where both these books were bought!)

Blue is the Night(taken from Eoin McNamee’s website)

1949. Lance Curran is set to prosecute a young man for a brutal murder, in the ‘Robert the Painter’ case, one which threatens to tear society apart. In the searing July heat, corruption and justice vie as Harry Ferguson, Judge Curran’s fixer, contemplates the souls of men adrift, and his own fall from…

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