By Daniel Magennis, M.A. Candidate, Queen’s University, Belfast
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.
Brian McGilloway, Eoin McNamee, Stuart Neville, Alex Barclay and many, many others will be at Harrogate’s festival, with a special session dedicated to Irish Noir. For more information: http://harrogateinternationalfestivals.com/crime/2015-festival-events/
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
(Image from Goodreads.com)
Žižek mentions Irish crime fiction author Tana French at the beginning of this video :
To see the programme of the Franco-Irish Festival taking place this week end, please click:
We’ll probably see some of you there !
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.
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).
The ever excellent Declan Burke has started to compile a list of highly anticipated Irish Crime Fiction books due for publication in the coming months. These include :
|Adrian McKinty , Gun street Girl (January 8)
|Graham Masterton, Taken for Dead (February 12)
|Steve Cavanagh, The Defence (March 12)
|John Connolly, A Song of Shadows (April 9)
|Alex Barclay, Killing Ways, (April 9)
|Jarlath Gregory, The Organised Criminal (April 9)
For (many) more, see
What’s more, Declan will be updating his list regularly throughout the year, thus providing a snapshot of one year of production in the long history of Irish Crime Fiction in general. But, too, in the considerably shorter history of Irish Noir, a publishing phenomenon, which only started 20 years ago. Thus, this is also an occasion to reflect on the maturity gained by Irish Noir and the generation which brought it to the world. That Declan Burke is one of them makes it of course all the more interesting.
The Lost and the blind by Declan Burke, modernist Irish Noir author and heir to Flann O’Brien and Raymond Chandler was published last month. It is the author’s sixth novel, and it is a milestone.