The Book Show

    The Book Show Saturday 18 October 2014

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    The Book Show

    Presented by Sinead Gleeson The Book Show celebrates books and the world of writing with readings, discussion, author interviews and special features

    The Book Show - 18th October 2014

    The Tools of Historical Fiction
    On this week’s show Sinead visits Marsh’s Library with Eibhear Walshe (The Diary of Mary Travers) to discuss the inspiration for this historical novel. The Diary of Mary Travers centres on a woman whose relationship with Sir William Wilde (Oscar’s father) caused a scandal in late 19th Dublin. 
    Eibhear brings Sinead to places of significance for his research and discusses some of the tools for writing historical fiction. 
    We hear from Elizabeth Gilbert, best known for her memoir Eat Pray Love, she has now turned to historical fiction and recently published The Signature of All Things.  It tells the story of Alma Whittaker, whose father, Henry, is one of the three richest men in the western hemisphere, with a fortune built on importing and exporting exotic plants.
    Jo Baker, author of Longbourn (which focuses on the servants in Jane Austen’s Pride and Predjudice), tells The Book Show about some of the historical research she did into servants’ lives to get a sense of their work. 
    The Diary of Mary Travers focuses on two 19th century sex scandals and just shortly after this period, we find E.M Forster struggling with his own sexuality. Writer Damon Galgut has written about Forster’s life in the novel Arctic Summer which looks at the twelve year period Forster spent writing his most famous novel, A Passage to India. Galgut’s historical novel is inspired by the person rather than the period and Galgut shares his insight into writing about a real person in fiction.   

    Two novels about Male Identity 
    Two books published this year by young writers tackle, in very different ways, male identity, sex, technology and expectation. 
    Nikesh Shukla’s second novel Meatspace focuses on a young man whose online life is dominating his relationships and his place in the world. Meatspace shows what happens when our lives become nothing more than an aggregation of shared content and our online personas are more interesting than real life. 
    In Here Are the Young Men, the debut novel from Dublin writer Rob Doyle, a group of teenage boys who post-Leaving Cert, subsist on drinking, drugs and video games is a dark and complex portrait of Celtic Tiger Ireland in 2003. 

    The Book Show, presented by Sinead Gleeson, is where we get to know a bit more about the books you love and talk about what you could be reading over the next few months.

    Writers and publishers will talk stories, books and the world of writing and we’ll have readings, reports and regular items. The Book Show will bring you the best in international and Irish authors, with weekly discussions, interviews, features and literary trivia.


    If there’s anything you’d like to hear covered on the show or have any comments to make, why not get in touch bookshow@rte.ie and you’ll find us on twitter @bookshowrte and on Facebook.

    Sinead Gleeson Photo credit: Annie Atkins

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    Presenter: Sinead Gleeson

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