We are delighted to welcome to the Festival Conor O’Callaghan. His second novel We Are Not in the World published by Doubleday UK in 2021, is a story of grief, shame and love in all its complex, dark and glorious manifestations.
Heartbroken after a long, painful love affair, a man takes a job driving a haulage lorry through France. Travelling with him is a secret passenger - his daughter: twentysomething, unkempt, off the rails. With a week on the road together, man and girl must attempt to restore themselves and each other and to repair a relationship that is at once fiercely loving and deeply scarred. As the pair journey down the motorways and through the service stations of France, a devastating picture reveals itself.
'Stylish, deft...an absolutely fascinating novel' Guardian
'Powerful...compelling and profoundly moving' Irish Times
Conor will be in conversation with Belfast writer Glenn Patterson, who you may have heard recently on The Northern Bank Job - the story of the biggest bank robbery in British and Irish history - a meticulously planned heist and its chaotic aftermath.
Looking to buy a book by one of the writers involved in this year's programme? Check out our official Festival Bookstore partner, No Alibi’s, who have created this special Belfast Book Festival page on their website which features the books and collections of the writers at the 2021 Festival. Plus they are offering a 10% discount on all of the Festival titles!
About the writers
Conor O'Callaghan is originally from Dundalk, and now divides his time between Dublin and the North of England. His critically acclaimed first novel Nothing on Earth was published by Doubleday Ireland in 2016. He has published five collections of poems including The History of Rain ( Gallery Press, 1993) Seatown (Gallery Press, 1999), Fiction (Gallery Press, 2005), The Sun King (Gallery Press, 2013), and Live Streaming (Gallery Press, 2017). He has also published a football memoir Red Mist: Roy Keane & Ireland's Football Civil War (Bloomsbury, 2004) and a Gothic novella.
Glenn Patterson is the author of ten novels, most recently Where Are We Now. He has written plays for Radio 3 and Radio 4 and is the co-writer of Good Vibrations (BBC Films/The Works), an award-winning movie based on the life of Belfast punk impresario Terri Hooley. A collection of his journalism, for among others The Guardian, Sunday Times and Irish Times, was published in 2006 as Lapsed Protestant and in 2008 he published the memoir Once Upon a Hill: Love in Troubled Times.