Join Lucy Caldwell, Louise Kennedy and Mira Sethi in conversation on their Short Story Collections which are being published this Spring. This is a lovely opportunity to hear from three writers whose stories charm and disarm, anchor us in place and upend our sense of it.
Lucy’s second short story collection Intimacies exquisitely charts the steps and missteps of young women trying to find their place in the world. From a Belfast student ordering illegal drugs online to end an unwanted pregnancy to a young mother’s brush with mortality; from a Christmas Eve walking the city centre streets when everything seems possible, to a night flight from Canada which could change a life irrevocably, these are stories of love, loss and exile, of new beginnings and lives lived away from ‘home’.
Louise’s debut short story collection, The End of the World is a Cul de Sac, was published by Bloomsbury in April. In these visceral, stunningly crafted stories, people are effortlessly cruel to one another, and the natural world is a primitive salve. Here, women are domestically trapped by predatorial men, Ireland's folklore and politics loom large, and poverty – material, emotional, sexual – seeps through every crack.
Mira’s debut collection Are you Enjoying presents provocative, funny, disarmingly original stories that upend traditional notions of identity and family, and peer into the vulnerable workings of the human heart.
As part of this event, we are excited that Chair of the Mairtin Crawford Award for Short Story 2021, Lucy Caldwell will reveal the Winner of this year's Short Story Award.
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
Belfast born Lucy Caldwell is the multi–award winning author of three novels, several stage plays and radio dramas and, most recently, two collections of short stories: Multitudes (Faber, 2016) and Intimacies (forthcoming, Faber, 2020). She is also the editor of Being Various: New Irish Short Stories (Faber, 2019). Awards include the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, the George Devine Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Irish Writers’ and Screenwriters’ Guild Award, and a Major Individual Artist Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2018.
Louise Kennedy is a prose writer, and one of the inaugural Ciaran Carson Writing and the City Fellows at Queens University, Belfast. Her publication record includes fiction in journals such as The Tangerine, The Stinging Fly, Banshee and Winter Papers, food writing for The Guardian and Irish Times, short scripts for RTE Radio 1 and a commission for BBC Radio 4 Short Works. Her stories have won prizes and she was short-listed for Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award in both 2019 and 2020.
Mira Sethi is a graduate of Wellesley and Oxford and worked as the Books Editor at The Wall Street Journal before returning to Pakistan. An actor and journalist, Sethi has also contributed to various publications including The New Republic, The Daily Beast and the New York Times. Are You Enjoying? is her first book.