New Island Books - 25 Years a-Growing

West Cork Literary Festival 2017

West Cork Literary Festival

New Island authors at West Cork Literary Festival 2017

Lisa Harding

Reading: Lisa Harding at Bantry Bookshop 

11.30am, Saturday, July 15th | Free Event

Harvesting is shocking – and shockingly good. It is thought-provoking, anger-provoking, guilt-provoking, and – most importantly – it is a brilliantly written novel.’ – Roddy Doyle

‘In much the same way that Louise O’Neill’s book Asking For It was a damning indictment of, and a clarion call to the discussion surrounding rape culture, Harding’s book will do similarly good things for the discourse surrounding trafficking and sex work in Ireland…shocking, gut-wrenching… a new writer worth your time.’ – Sunday Business Post 

Harvesting by Lisa Harding

Sammy is a spiky, quick-witted and sharp teenager living in Dublin; Nico is a warm and conscientious girl from Moldova. When they are thrown together in a Dublin brothel in a horrific twist of fate, a peculiar and important bond is formed . . .

This is a novel about a flourishing but hidden world, thinly concealed beneath a veneer of normality. It’s about the failings of polite society, the cruelty that can exist in apparently homely surroundings, the bluster of youth and the often appalling weakness of adults.

Harvesting is heartbreaking and funny, gritty, raw and breathtakingly beautiful, where redemption is found in friendship and unexpected acts of kindness.

Harvesting was inspired by Harding’s involvement with a campaign against sex trafficking run by the Children’s Rights Alliance. Although it is a fictionalised account, the text has been read and approved of by representatives for NGOs in both Moldova and Dublin.

‘This is one of the most gut-wrenching, shiver-inducing pieces of fiction I have ever read.The word ‘compelling’ is too hackneyed when it comes to a novel such as this. Each line is gripping: mind and body are hooked into a world you don’t want to know exists, but which thrives under our very noses… electrifying.’ – Sunday Independent

Dermot Bolger

Dermot Bolger & Thomas Lynch at Bantry Library

13:00pm Saturday, July 15th | Free Event

Dermot Bolger and Thomas Lynch are both widely published across a number of forms and are well known for both their poetry and their fiction.

Dermot Bolger will read from his latest novel The Lonely Sea And Sky.

The Lonely Sea and Sky by Dermot Bolger

Part historical fiction, part extraordinary coming-of-age tale, The Lonely Sea and Sky charts the maiden voyage of fourteen-year-old Jack Roche aboard a tiny Wexford ship, the Kerlogue, on a treacherous wartime journey to Portugal.

After his father’s ship is sunk on this same route, Jack must go to sea to support his family – swapping Wexford’s small streets for Lisbon’s vibrant boulevards: where every foreigner seems to be a refugee or a spy, and where he falls under the spell of Kateřina, a Czech girl surviving on her wits.

Dermot’s latest novel is based on a real-life rescue in 1943, when the Kerlogue’s crew risked their lives to save 168 drowning German sailors – members of the navy that had killed Jack’s father. Forced to choose who to save and who to leave behind, the Kerlogue grows so dangerously overloaded that no one knows if they will survive amid the massive Biscay waves.

A brilliant portrayal of those unarmed Irish ships that sailed alone through hazardous waters; of young romance and a boy encountering a world where every experience is intense and dangerous, this is Dermot’s most spellbinding novel, and the work of a master storyteller who is one of Ireland’s best-known novelists, playwrights and poets.

‘A full-bodied barnstormer, a coming-of-age tale of wanderlust ideal for readers aged 12 to 92. It is an ocean-going epic of sacrifice and derring-do against the backdrop of war-torn Europe.’ – Irish Independent

Bolger’s unforced style sings with colour, humour and excitement. But it’s the way he smuggles “the bigger themes” into the narrative hull that grants this historical fiction “modern classic” status.’ – Irish Independent

‘For those who love a whopping good yarn, The Lonely Sea and Sky is a must. It has echoes of Treasure Island and as a summer read, ranks with the best. It is a book the reader regrets finishing.’ –  Des Kenny, The Galway Advertiser

Mia Gallagher

Jan Carson, Mia Gallagher & Mike McCormack at the Maritime Hotel

18:30pm, Tuesday, July 18th | Tickets: €16

Mia Gallagher will be in conversation with Jan Carson and Mike McCormack

‘There is so much to say about this novel. Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland is challenging, it is brave, it is original, it is flawed, it is moving, it is fascinating. It is art.’ The Guardian

‘Nothing came near Mia Gallagher’s Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland for bravery and ambition this year. A skillful and fearless exploration of place, time and identity – it grapples the big themes to its heart. This is the Irish novel whose reputation will grow in the coming years.  A new generation of Irish writers may well take their lead from it.’ – Sunday Independent


In Mia Gallagher’s latest novel Beautiful Pictures of the Lost Homeland, a bomb blast in the London Underground rips through space and time, unearthing four stories that whirl, collide and pass each other by. Sometime around now, Georgia Madden (who used to be Georgie) flees her Dublin home, embarking on a road trip spiked with the hidden dangers of her past and her present. In the 1970s, as the Madden family begins to disintegrate, a disruptive stranger arrived who will bind them, briefly. While the underground bomb ticks down, an elderly German woman, Anna Bauer, recounts her own war story to a film crew. And all along, fizzing and popping in a parallel reality, we, the ‘visitors’, are led through an unsettling and volatile Museum of Curiosities.

The past crosses and weaves with the present; generations are bound together and cleaved apart; future selves remember and forget who they once were. Forgiveness is sought, offered and withheld – and as they unspool, the fragmented lives of four people become a haunting whole, where time is unknowable.

‘I adored this thrillingly ambitious novel, which is intriguing, strange, yet seductive, too, in such clever and nuanced ways. A sheer pleasure to read.’ Joseph O’Connor

Jan’s photo is by Jonathan Ryder, Mia’s photo is by Robbie Fry and Mike’s photo is by Sarah Davis-Goff.


Browse the full programme for West Cork Literary Festival 2017


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