Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    Book: In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom

    Yeonmi is twenty three years old and in 2007, she escaped from North Korea with her mother and sister. 

    As we know, North Korea is a poor isolated country where people struggle to survive under a regime that feeds propaganda to its citizens instead of food.

    Yeonmi has just published her autobiography entitled  In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom.

    While her English is a little hard to understand initially, hers is an extraordinary story of courage.


    Snapshots - Michael O'Higgins

    One of the country’s leading barristers, he has represented a diverse range of clients from gangland criminals like John Gilligan to politicians like Ivor Callely and top bankers like Sean Fitzpatrick. 

    And Senior Counsel, Michael O’Higgins has another side to him, he is an award-winning short story writer who has just published his first novel, Snapshots. Michael joined Sean in studio this morning.


    Book: Tennison

    Detective Chief Inspector - Jane Tennison was immortalised on the small screen by Helen Mirren in the awarding winning TV series, Prime Suspect.

    But it was author Lynda La Plante who created the character of Tennison many years ago and while the TV character has disappeared from our screens battling alcoholism, ageism and faces retirement, La Plante has brought Tennison back in her new novel, simply called ‘Tennison’.

    Lynda La Plante joined Sean this morning.

    Read More on Lynda here.


    Packie Bonner - The Last Line

    Nobody has shaped or been closer to the big moments in Irish football over the past 30 years more than my next guest.

    With 80 caps for the Republic of Ireland, not to mention the pivotal role he played in our World Cup glory days, Packie Bonner is a true soccer hero.

    In his new autobiography, The Last Line: My Autobiography, Packie shares stories from his time on and off the pitch.

    And it’s hard to believe but it’s twenty five years since Packie Bonner entered the Irish sporting history books.

    Packie Bonner joined Sean this morning.

    Packie Bonner’s book ‘The Last Line: My Autobiography’ is written with Gerard McDade and published by Ebury Press. 

    And Packie will be signing copies of his book in Easons O’Connell Street, Dublin at 12 noon Saturday Oct 3rd.


    Book Club: Purity

    Time again for our book club and this month’s book is the latest novel by Jonathan Franzen, Purity.

    In 2010, Time Magazine anointed him The Great American Novelist and Franzen’s previous novels, Corrections and Freedom have topped best sellers lists on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Joining Sean to discuss Purity and whether Franzen lives up to expectation was author John Connolly, broadcaster Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh, Mary McEvoy and Artistic Director of The Gate, Michael Colgan.


    Nemesis - Misha Glenny

    Do you ever pick up a book and start reading it fully assured that it’s colourful  fiction and then just a few chapters in it suddenly dawns on you that what you’re reading is actually a real life true story? Well that’s exactly how Sean would describe Nemesis – it’s award-winning investigative journalist Misha Glenny’s  latest offering with the simple title “Nemesis” is the story of a man called Antônio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, better known as “Nem” who became the king of the largest slum in Rio and the head of a top drug cartel. Eventually becoming possibly Brazil’s most wanted criminal.

    It’s a fast-paced crime story that paints a vivid picture of life in the sprawling favelas of Brazil’s second-largest city and it’s author Misha Glenny spoke to Sean this morning.


    Sebastian Faulks - Where My Heart Used to Beat

    To some listeners, our next guest is perhaps known as the writer of the James Bond tribute novel ‘Devil May Care’, but to many more, he is the author of the hugely acclaimed novel, ‘Birdsong’.

    Where My Heart Used to Beat is the title of his latest book. It tells the story of Robert Hendricks, a disillusioned psychiatrist who is unexpectedly forced to confront the events that made up his life.

    Sebastian Faulks spoke to Sean this morning.


    Man Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

    Sinead Crowley, arts and media correspondent for RTÉ news joined Sean on the line following the announcement of the Man Booker Prize shortlist, a varied list but no sign of Irish author Anne Enright for The Green Road. 

    Those who have made it on to the list are: 

    Satin Island Tom McCarthy,
    Chigozie Obioma The Fishermen
    THe Year of the Runaways Sunjeev Sahota
    Anne Tyler A Spool of Blue Thread
    Hanya Yanagihara A Little Life
    A Brief History of Seven Killings Marlon James


    Book: The Great Betrayal

    Former Sunday Independent political columnist John Drennan may have recently left the world of journalism to serve as a political strategist with Renua Ireland but he remains committed to print with the publication of his latest book.

    His new offering is titled The Great Betrayal: How The Government with the Largest Majority in the History of the Irish State Lost It’s People – it serves as his account of our current coalition government and what he asserts will be its legacy. In it he traces the uncertainty of our political times, and how our political landscape has changed since Fine Gael and Labour took power in 2011, if at all. He joined Sean in studio this morning. 


    Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood

    Any pregnant woman would be forgiven for being baffled by the vast array of information on offer about childbirth. Irish midwife and antenatal teacher Nancy Murphy has just published her own guide - Preparation for Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood – and she joined Keelin from our Limerick studios.

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