|Date||Monday March 8th|
Join novelist Maggie O’Farrell in conversation with Jennifer O’ Connell.
Maggie O’Farrell’s hugely popular latest novel Hamnet was the ‘must read’ of 2020. She resurrected the short life of Hamnet Shakespeare, the Bard’s only son, in a profoundly moving account of grief, family and genius in an era where life was ever precarious. A stunning new departure for Maggie O'Farrell's fiction, Hamnet is the heart-stopping story behind Shakespeare's most famous play. It is a story of the bond between twins, and of a marriage pushed to the brink by grief. It is also the story of a kestrel and its mistress; a flea that boards a ship in Alexandria; and a glovemaker's son who flouts convention in pursuit of the woman he loves. Above all, it is a tender and unforgettable reimagining of a boy whose life has been all but forgotten, but whose name was given to one of the most celebrated plays ever written.
Born in Northern Ireland, Maggie O'Farrell grew up in Wales and Scotland. Her debut novel, After You'd Gone (2000), won a Betty Trask Award, and was followed by two further novels: My Lover's Lover (2002); and The Distance Between Us (2004), winner of a Somerset Maugham Award. In 2006, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox was published followed by The Hand That First Held Mine (2010), winner of the 2010 Costa Novel Award. Her 2013 novel Instructions for a Heatwave was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award. She has also published This Must Be the Place (2016) and a memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am (2017). Hamnet was published in 2020.
Jennifer O’ Connell, feature writer and opinion columnist with The Irish Times