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The next book group will meet at 18.30 on 24 November 2022 in the library at the Irish Centre.  That is a little earlier than usual – the next meeting (on January 26th) will be back to the usual time of 7 pm.   The book for November is Queen of Dirt Island by Donal Ryan.

“The Aylward women of Nenagh, Tipperary, are mad about each other, but you wouldn’t always think it. You’d have to know them to know—in spite of what the neighbours might say about raised voices and dramatic scenes—that their house is a place of peace, filled with love, a refuge from the sadness and cruelty of the world. Their story begins at an end and ends at a beginning. It involves wives and widows, gunrunners and gougers, sinners and saints. It’s a story of terrible betrayals and fierce loyalties, of isolation and togetherness, of transgression, forgiveness, desire and love. About all the things family can be and all the things it sometimes isn’t. From the prize-winning author of Strange Flowers and The Spinning Heart, The Queen of Dirt Island is an uplifting celebration of fierce, loyal love and the powerful stories that bind generations together.”

If you would like more information or want to be added to the mailing list for the group contact Rosie on 0191 261 0385 or

You might also be interested in the Irish Writers Weekend at the British Library at the end of this month.   “Highlights on Saturday 26 November will include a trio of Northern Ireland’s most compelling writers: Jan Carson, Wendy Erskine and Louise Kennedy; multi award-winning Emma Donoghue and Booker long-listed Audrey Magee discuss their island-set novels; the extraordinary craft of the essay is explored by Patrick Freyne, Sinéad Gleeson, Emilie Pine and Jessica Traynor, and writers including Suad Aldarra and Emma Dabiri give their take on the past, present and future of Irish culture. The day will end with a unique meeting between actor-writer Robert Sheehan and acclaimed novelist Donal Ryan”.The live sessions are also being streamed.   Full details and booking can be found here: