Irish festival celebrates Maeve Binchy and other Irish writers
The second Echoes Literary Festival will run 5-7 October at Dalkey Castle and Heritage Centre in Dublin. The first half day session will look at at the evolution of contemporary Irish women writers - 'where they are at today and the part that Maeve Binchy's international success played in this. Is gender still a relevant topic in writing or is it perhaps more significant than ever?'
In Intuitive Feminism Dr Melissa Sihra considers how the voice of playwright Lady Gregory reverberates in the theatre of Marina Carr. Later, in Maeve Binchy: The Quiet Feminist author Henrietta McKervey will illuminate how Binchy's feminism shone through in her written words 'which taught her characters to be courageous and take charge of their own lives. In an era when no Irish writer addressed issues of abortion, unwanted pregnancy, domestic violence, incest or forced adoption, Maeve Binchy was at the helm and in her gentle, yet relentless way, she spelled out the truth of what was happening in Irish society.'
In Following in Maeve's Footsteps, authors Patricia Scanlan, Sheila O'Flanagan and Claudia Carroll discuss Binchy's influence on their writing paths and debate the issue of stereotyping female fiction writers. It's a Mystery, is Gender Relevant in Crime Writing? has some of Ireland's leading crime writers debating with author and playwright Declan Hughes on whether crime writing is the one genre where women writers are considered deadlier than the male. In a rich tradition from Agatha Christie to Patricia Cornwell, are detective novels considered more thrilling when written in the words of a woman?
In tandem with a rehearsed reading of Maeve Binchy's multi-award-winning television play Deeply Regretted By writer Catherine Dunne will speak about her research for forgotten stories in her work An Unconsidered People. This book gives voice to the stories of both women and men who emigrated from Ireland in the 1950s and who have been all but omitted from Irish history. Dunne will discuss all those findings and her more recent work with Seán Rocks.