Chairperson: Myles Dungan
Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa is one of Latin America’s greatest writers. Join him for this very special in-conversation as he discusses The Dream of the Celt, his fictional portrait of Roger Casement, controversial hero of Irish nationalism.
Casement might appear at first glance an incongruous subject for a new novel by the South American master. Yet on closer inspection the match seems entirely apposite. Casement was famously and ignominiously hanged by the British in the wake of the Easter Rising, his reputation destroyed by the ‘Black Diaries’ scandal which had outed him as a secretly gay man. Yet before this he had been widely feted (and indeed knighted) as a pioneering humanitarian, fighting to improve the lives of oppressed peoples across the world, including in Vargas Llosa’s native Peru. Yet when Casement dared draw parallels with the colonial injustices committed by the British in Northern Ireland, his fate was sealed.
Vargas Llosa himself has always been politically outspoken and a staunch defender of free expression. He was President of PEN from 1976 to 1979 and his most resonant work – from War of the End of the World to The Feast of the Goat – is politically charged and international in scope.
Chairperson to be confirmed.