It has been quite a while since I have last posted a blog and this is just a brief stop-off to shout the news that my good and lovely friend, the brilliant Simon Van Booy, yesterday won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the world's richest prize for a short story collection.
The whole festival was really great, full of sweet people (Leisl Jobson, Madeleine Darcy, ZZ Packer etc.). I was very honoured to be asked to read (sharing the bill on the night with Simon, in fact) and I have to offer my congratulations to Patrick Cotter, head honcho of the Munster Literature Centre, for organising such a wonderful week (ably assisted in his endeavours by Jennifer and Marina).
The readings went down a storm. Simon's book is a truly incredible piece of work, and it had to be, in order to edge out the competition. So, commiserations to those who missed out (especially to Shih Li Kow, who I very much enjoyed meeting and whose collection, Ripples and other stories, is for me one of the must-reads of the year) but a huge and hearty stuffed-with-Clonakilty-black-pudding congratulations to Simon!
There is so much ground to cover, but last night was a late one and I have to get some real writing done, so I'll post again soon, maybe even with a picture or two!