Literature in Lockdown

Join Sinead Gleeson, Liz Nugent, Patrick Freyne and Naoise Dolan for an exclusive Literature in Lockdown virtual event

Would you like access to the insights of four of Ireland’s most-respected authors from the comfort of your own home? IMAGE has partnered with An Post, sponsor of the Irish Book Awards, for The Reading Room, a virtual Literature in Lockdown panel discussion with Patrick Freyne, Naoise Dolan, Sinead Gleeson and Liz Nugent. And you’re invited, free of charge.

Physical book stores may have been closed for the last 12 weeks, but that’s not stopping Irish authors producing cracking escapist reads during lockdown.

Online book sales are booming, neighbours are sharing street libraries encouraging us to take a book and leave a book and in between the banana bread photos on Instagram, there’s often the spine of a book lingering in the background.

And Irish authors in particular have seen a surge in interest thanks to the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People launching at exactly the right time, when we couldn’t travel beyond 2km from home.

Register for Literature in Lockdown, in partnership with An Post, here 

IMAGE has teamed up with An Post, sponsor of the Irish Book Awards, to bring some of Ireland’s most-respected authors into your home for an exclusive virtual event, called The Reading Room.

Up-and-coming writer Naoise Dolan, the very funny Patrick Freyne, the compelling Sinead Gleeson and the award-winning Liz Nugent will all be in conversation with IMAGE’s editorial director Dominique McMullan in an online panel discussion. IMAGE readers can access The Reading Room from the comfort of your own home, for free. And you will have the chance to submit burning questions to the writers via the registration page and following along on social media with #ReadersWanted.

Meet the authors

Naoise Dolan’s debut novel, Exciting Times, was released in April this year and chronicles the travels of Ava, a 21-year-old who leaves Ireland for a teaching job in Hong Kong. Ava hangs out with Julian, an English banker, before she meets Edith, a Hong Kong lawyer. Grappling with her feelings for both of them, Ava must decide why she is so resistant to letting herself feel her emotions. With observations on culture clashes and Ireland’s attitudes towards abortion and homosexuality, Dolan’s debut novel is a witty and sharp escape from reality.

Patrick Freyne is known for his comical reviews of Irish film and TV for RTÉ and the Irish Times. You may remember this corker trending on Twitter after Dermot Bannon allowed cameras follow him as he renovated his own house. But now Freyne has put his comedic touch into a debut called OK, Let’s Do Your Stupid Idea. With a release date pushed back to September due to Covid-19 restrictions, Freyne’s shining debut of essays includes everything from when he let a horse bolt out of a gate just to see what would happen as a child, to friendship, love and loss in adulthood. It will make you laugh and cry in equal measure and is well worth the wait. Published by Penguin.

Register for Literature in Lockdown, in partnership with An Post, here 

Sinead Gleeson, also a writer for the Irish Times and arts broadcaster for RTÉ, was awarded the Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the 2019 An Post Irish Book Awards with Constellations: Reflections from Life. A group of beautifully personal essays ranging from Gleeson’s childhood illness of arthritis, which left her on crutches during her school years, to a battle with leukemia in her 20s, to marriage, motherhood and everything in between, Constellations manages to focus on the accomplishments after the hard-won battles rather than the morose. Published by Picador.

Liz Nugent is a multi-award winning author whose debut novel Unravelling Oliver cemented her as one of Ireland’s most respected writers after she won the Crime Fiction Award at the Irish Book Awards in 2014 and was longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award in 2016. Her latest offering, Our Little Cruelties, is a gripping thriller following three brothers who grew up competing for their mother’s unequal love. As adults, they compete for status, money, fame and women in a dark story of betrayal which ends in death. Published by Penguin.

You’re invited

IMAGE readers are invited to join in The Reading Room and connect with these inspiring authors, some of whom have had work published during lockdown, by submitting questions to our literary panel by keeping an eye on the event registration page.

You can enjoy the virtual conversation from the comfort of your own home, while tucking into that banana bread!


WHEN: Thursday, June 11, 8pm-9pm

WHERE: Online. We will provide all registered guests with a link for access. Register here.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: A screen, working wifi and the link to access provided by us.

An Post is sponsor of the Irish Book Awards. Follow The Reading Room on social media with #ReadersWanted. 


Sean Mitchell

Author at Pynck

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