Elaine’s new novel on Booker longlist


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Elaine’s new novel on Booker longlist Elaine’s new novel on Booker longlist

Galway novelist Elaine Feeney, who is “committed to witnessing” and writing about the West of Ireland, has been longlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize for her latest novel, How to Build a Boat, published in April by Harvill Secker.

The Athenry woman is one of four Irish writers on the longlist of 13, alongside Sebastian Barry, Paul Lynch and Paul Murray.

How to Build a Boat is Elaine’s second novel and centres on Jamie, a highly intelligent 13-year-old who faces daily challenges in life because he sees the world differently to most people.

This motherless child, who’s being reared by his father in the fictional town of Emory, enters the local religious secondary school where he is a misfit. But the mathematical genius, who desperately wants recreate a crucial moment in his late mother’s life, does find his community, albeit in an unusual way.

Elaine is currently on a career break from her job as a teacher in St Jarlath’s in Tuam. She has already written several critically acclaimed collections of poetry and lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Galway.

She has always been “obsessed by institutions and power”, and that’s reflected in her work, including her debut novel, As You Were.

“I want to know who is in power, why they are in power and what are they doing with their power.”

Education and the education system falls under that remit, coming under the spotlight in How to Build a Boat. Likewise the social life and social hierarchy of small-town Ireland.

Elaine, who lives outside Athenry with her husband Ray and their sons Jack and Finn, is currently working on  a new poetry collection for Harvill Secker. And she’s writing a third novel for the UK publishing company, which will also draw on what she describes as the “bountiful and brilliant and brutal” West of Ireland.

The Booker longlist was announced on Tuesday, with the shortlist of six books due on September 21. The winner of literature’s top prize, which is worth £50,000 in cash, will be announced at a ceremony in London on November 26.


More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up