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Sunday, May 06, 2012

Esther Murbach & Kevin Higgins read and take questions at Charlie Byrne's Bookshop

Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop invite you to join them on Friday the 1st of June at 6pm for an evening with Esther Murbach and Kevin Higgins. Esther & Kevin will read from their recently published books The Turtle Woman and Mentioning The War: Essays & Reviews (1999-2011). After the reading they will take questions from members of the audience.

After a long career as a journalist and translator, Esther Murbach decided to do what she had always wanted, to become a novelist. Since 2009 she has published three books in German. The Turtle Woman is her first book written in English.

ABOUT The Turtle Woman: Emily is a Swiss woman with a unique disfigurement: a shell covers her body. Successful as a writer but privately resigned to a life without love, she undertakes a trip to Ireland to explore her partly Irish roots. This proves to be a turning point in her life. She discovers a spiritual bond with the Emerald Isle and meets a man who is her counterpart. Niall, an Irish patriot, guesses what her condition is and where it comes from, because he had once experienced it himself. He offers her his understanding and help. They open up to each other, disclosing their dark secrets. In a difficult and painful process Emily overcomes her physical and emotional boundaries with Niall's assistance. Together they start on an emotional and spiritual journey as soul mates. Niall takes Emily to the Aran Island of Inishmore, where she meets her Irish grandmother for the first time. A few obstacles have to be overcome before Emily and Niall finally understand where their happiness lies.

Best known for his dark, satirical poems, Kevin Higgins published his first book review in The Galway Advertiser in June 1999. Reading Mentioning the War, it becomes obvious that Higgins is not like other critics. An enthusiastic advocate for the work of the new generation of poets who have emerged from Ireland’s thriving live poetry scene; he is also a merciless opponent of hypocrisy and pretentiousness wherever he finds it. His writing is overtly political in a way that draws comparison with George Orwell – the subject of two extended essays here. It would be impossible to agree with everything in this book; it is a book which often disagrees with itself. But on subjects as diverse as socialist poetry and neoconservatism, funding for the arts and the anti-war movement, Higgins informs, infuriates and entertains, as any good critic should.