“Keegan is amongst the greatest practitioners of the short story form now writing.”
“Characters all but leap off the page with believability in MacLaverty’s marvellous stories.”
The Sunday Times
Chairperson: Aideen Howard
The short story, VS Pritchett once wrote, is “exquisitely difficult”. Fortunately, Bernard MacLaverty and Claire Keegan, two acknowledged masters of the form, are here to share some of its secrets.
With just two collections, Claire Keegan has established herself as one of the best short story writers around. Her debut, Antarctica, won The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and drew comparisons with William Trevor, while her second collection, Walk the Blue Fields, contained, in the words of Anne Enright “seven perfect short stories”. In 2010 her story ‘Foster’, which won the Davy Byrnes Short Story Award, was paid the rare compliment of being published by Faber as a stand-alone work.
Over forty years, Bernard MacLaverty’s career has encompassed everything from film directing to opera librettos, as well as novels like Grace Notes and the Booker-shortlisted Cal, but it is to the short story that he has returned time and again. From his first book, Secrets, to his Collected Stories, published last year to widespread acclaim, MacLaverty explores the small but significant moments in everyday lives, mixing keen observation with dark humour.