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Rattlebag at the Irish Literary Society – 31 Oct
October 31, 2016 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm£5
The ILS’s eclectic Rattlebag forum returns with the novelist Jess Kidd, poet Kimberly Campanello and academic Clare Walker Gore. Kidd’s brilliantly original debut novel Himself is a gothic detective story set in 1970s Mayo with a cast of ghosts. Having been abandoned on the steps of an orphanage as an infant, lovable car thief and Dublin charmer Mahony assumed all his life that his mother had simply given him up. But when he receives an anonymous note suggesting that foul play may have led to his mother’s disappearance, he sees only one option: to return to the rural Irish village where he was born and find out what really happened twenty-six years ago.
Dr Campanello is an Irish-American poet who has produced fine work in Strange Country (Dreadful Press, 2015) which inhabits the complexity of the sheela-na-gigs – ancient stone carvings of female figures that prominently display the vulva, which are found on churches, castles and town walls across Ireland and some of Britain. Campanello will read from Strange Country and present her sonically rich project about the St Mary’s Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, MOTHERBABYHOME (zimZalla Avant Objects, forthcoming in 2016).
Dr Clare Walker Gore of the University of Cambridge discusses The Life of Arthur Macmurrough Kavanagh and what this fascinating biography contributes to our understanding of disabled people in the 19th century. Born at Borris House in County Carlow without hands and feet, he was an adventurous traveller and a Member of Parliament, a tiger-hunting landowner whose attempts to resist the rising tide of Irish nationalism were ultimately defeated, and whose amazing career has been largely forgotten. But how did his first biographer meet the challenge of writing his life?