Good books don’t come along that often, but, like buses, when they do they tend to come in pairs. And so it has proven with the launch within days of each of the latest offerings from Nenagh authors Donal Ryan and Marjorie Quarton.
Booker nominated Donal, winner of numerous literary awards his first book, The Spinning Heart, launched his latest book, a collection of short stories entitled A Slanting of the Sun, in Ryan’s Nenagh Bookshop on September 23, with Marjorie launching hers, Renegade, in Easons on September 26.
Michael Ryan of Nenagh Bookshop thanked the author for “the honour of launching your third book in the bookshop”.
He paid tribute to Mr Ryan for what he has achieved, including being the writer-in-residence at the University of Limerick.
“This book of short stories will, I am sure, enhance his literary status. Nenagh can be proud of its local author who has gained national and international recognition,” he said.
Author Donal said that it was “great to be in a place I love with people I love”.
He paid tribute to his family, including his wife, Annemarie, saying that without them there would be no books.
He also paid tribute to Michael Ryan as a “bookseller of the first order”, and said he was delighted the store had had that honour officially recognised under the James Patterson fund for its attempts to encourage young people to read.
The shop is listed among 69 successful independent bookshops across the UK and Ireland – and just nine in Ireland – to be allocated a share of £110,000 in grants under the same scheme this year.
Meanwhile, author David Rice told the launch of Ms Quarton’s updated Renegade on Saturday that he had read the book when it was first published 20 years ago and had never forgotten it.
He said the power of the book, which deals with events surrounding 1798 and its aftermath, was its “incredible realism”, and that the author had caught the tension in the streets and the hills around Nenagh in that period.
Ms Quarton was a “briliant novelist” whose use of dialogue was “masterful”, he said.
Before reading from the book, Ms Quarton told the launch that Mr Rice had noticed things in the book that she hadn’t noticed herself.
Noelle Morrissey, who operates Easons in Nenagh, praised Ms Quarton for her “marvellous turn of phrase and use of language”