The literary scene in Northern Ireland is well positioned and has no shortage of award-winning writers – we have Booker Prize winner Anna Burns, EU Literature Prize winner Jan Carson and bestselling criminal writers Adrian McKinty and Brian McGilloway to name a few.
For all book lovers, here are some of the excellent books by Northern Ireland writers due out in 2022.
The Raptures, Jan Carson
Winner of the European Literature Prize for the latest novel, Fire starters Jan Carson is widely regarded as one of the best documentary filmmakers in contemporary Northern Ireland.
His latest novel, The Raptures, centers on a small town in Northern Ireland in the grip of a mysterious illness.
The description reads as follows:
“It’s late June in Ballylack. Hannah Adger plans an eight-week long reprieve from school, but when her classmate Ross succumbs to a violent and mysterious illness, it marks the start of a summer like no other.
“As more fall ill, questions about who – or who – is responsible plunges the village into conflict and frightening disarray. Hannah is haunted by guilt as she remains healthy while her friends are gunned down. Isolated and scared, she prays for help.
“Elsewhere in the village, spirits are seething, panic intensifies, and long-buried secrets threaten to emerge.”
Dance movement, Wendy Erskine
Wendy Erskine was propelled into the limelight with the success of her first short story collection in 2018, Sweet home. Telling stories of modern East Belfast, Erskine has become a household name on the Irish literary scene. His second collection, Dance movement , has been highly anticipated and should be released in early 2022.
The presentation text for Dance movement bed :
“Meet Drew Lord Haig, called to sing the obscure hit of his youth at a paramilitary event. Or Max, who remembers an eventful trip to a Christian film festival. Meet Ms Dallesandro, in the tanning salon on her wedding anniversary, daydreaming about a teenage sexual experience and Sonya, who roams the streets of Belfast looking for the missing posters of her deceased son.
“In Dance movement , Wendy Erskine’s new collection of stories, we meet characters who seek to take control of their lives, only to find themselves defined by the moment in their past that has marked them.
“In these stories – as in real life – the funny, the tender and the devastating go hand in hand. where you came from and what it means to look back. ”
The Island, Adrian McKinty
Born in Carrickfergus, Adrian McKinty is the author of Sean Duffy’s popular local detective novels, as well as the author of the 2019 New York Times bestselling crime novel. Chain .
His highly anticipated new novel, The island , is slated for release in April 2021. While not much has been revealed about the book, it is a thrilling, high-concept new thriller.
Intrusions, Louise Kennedy
Louise Kennedy won well-deserved praise for her first short story collection, The World’s End is a Dead End, in 2020. Here is her debut novel, Intrusions , should be released in 2022.
A description of the novel reads as follows:
“Cushla Lavery lives with her mother in a small town near Belfast. At twenty-four, she divides her time between her daily job as a teacher for a class of seven-year-olds and regular bartending shifts in the pub. It is here, on a day like any other – as daily news arrives of another exploding car bomb, another man shot, beaten or left for dead – that she meets Michael Agnew, a an older (and married) lawyer who draws him into his sophisticated group of friends.
“When the father of a young boy in his class is the victim of a savage attack, Cushla is forced to help his family. But as her affair with Michael escalates, political tensions in the city escalate, threatening to destroy everything she works … hold together.
“As tender as it is imperturbable, Intrusions is a masterfully executed and intimate portrayal of those caught between the conflicting realms of the personal and the political, rooted in a turbulent and brutally imagined moment in history – where it’s not just what you do that matters, but what you are.”
These days Lucy Caldwell
Novelist, award-winning short story writer, playwright and radio playwright, east Belfast-born writer Lucy Caldwell has many strings to her bow.
Her latest novel, These Days, follows two sisters living in Belfast during WWII at the start of the Blitz.
The description of the novel reads: “Two sisters, four nights, one city. April 1941. Belfast escaped the worst of war – so far. Over the next two months it will be destroyed in high, so people will say, in horror, My God, Belfast is over, many will not make it, and no one will remain the same.
“Following the lives of sisters Emma and Audrey – one engaged, the other in a secret relationship with another woman – as they try to survive the horrors of the four nights of the Belfast Blitz bombing, These days is a timeless, heart-wrenching novel about life under duress, family, and how we try to stay true to ourselves. ”
The Midnight Murder, Sharon Dempsey
Doctoral candidate and extraordinary writer Sharon Dempsey has received accolades for her previous novel, the local crime thriller, Who took Eden Mulligan. His second book, The midnight murder , released in February 2022.
A description of the novel reads: “She had cycled this way hundreds of times before, every turn familiar. She didn’t know it would be the last.
“When the body of local architect James McCallum is found hanged in the grounds of his old school on a cold, dark night, DI Danny Stowe and forensic psychologist Rose Lainey suspect a foul play behind his apparent suicide.
“Much to their amazement, the trail leads to a cold 20-year-old case of a missing girl and a teenage party. But what was James’ fascination with the case and how does it relate to his death?
“Secrets don’t stay buried forever … but the real killer will stop at nothing to hide theirs …”
Truth be told, Sue Divin
Derry-based writer Sue Divin is set to release her young adult novel, The truth must be told , in April 2022.
The description of the novel reads: “Tara is from Derry, Faith is from Armagh; their lives are very different, but they look exactly the same – they just don’t know why…
“Two teenage girls from very different backgrounds – Tara, the Catholic daughter of a two-generation single-parent family, and Faith, the daughter of Strict Evangelical Protestants from Armagh, come face to face in a residence and find that they are each other. almost look alike. A DNA test reveals that they are related and that Faith’s father is not who she thinks – although Tara never knew hers. Between them, they set out to unravel the mystery of their common parentage, but in doing so, sparked a series of revelations about the meantime, they also separately deal with their own issues – Tara angry and grieving over the sudden death of her boyfriend Oran, and Faith hiding her true sexuality. to his family for fear of being denied. “
Factory Girls, Michelle Gallen
With its humor, wit and honest portrayals of young women who grew up in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, Michelle Gallen’s debut novel, Big Girl Small Trailer n, made comparisons with Derry Girls . It also became a bestseller and won him legions of fans.
Michelle’s second book, Factory Girls , is slated for release in 2022, with the book description as follows:
“It’s summer 1994. In a small town on the Irish border, Maeve and her two friends just got summer jobs at the local shirt factory. They plan to make as much money as they can. awaiting their A-level results before leaving town and heading to the UK As the summer progresses and the marching season begins, tensions in the factory begin to rise in the hand – Catholic and Protestant work and events escalate, jeopardizing Maeve’s chances of escaping. “
The House of Ashes, Stuart Neville
With his first novel the twelve , Stuart Neville sealed his place as one of the best detective story writers in Northern Ireland.
His latest novel, The house of ashes , was released in the US to acclaim in 2021 and will be released in the UK in February 2022.
The novel’s blurb reads as follows:
“A house built on secrets
“An old woman haunted by her past
“A young woman who fights for her life
“For Sara Keane, it was meant to be a second chance.
“A new country. A new home. A new beginning.
“Then came knocking on the door.
“Elderly Mary Jackson does not understand why Sara and her husband live in her house.
“She remembers the fire. She remembers the house on fire. But she also remembers the children. The children who need her. The children she must protect.
“The kids will find you,” she tells Sara, because Mary knows she needs help too. As Sara becomes obsessed with what happened in this house almost sixty years ago and the family were devastated on one bloody night, she begins to see things. Things that cannot be real.
“In a story that spans six decades, the truth will not remain buried and the ghosts of the past will never be able to remain in the shadows …”
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