Home/ILFDublin 2020

The International Literature Festival Dublin, founded in 1998, is Ireland’s premier literary event and gathers the finest writers in the world to debate, provoke, delight and enthral. Attracting visitors from around the world annually, the festival is a destination for those who wish to celebrate the very best of Irish and international talent. With readings, discussions, debates, workshops, performance and screenings, the festival creates a hotbed of ideas. Whether it’s the mix of poets, writers of fiction and non-fiction, lyricists, playwrights and screenwriters, International Literature Festival Dublin brings new faces and house-hold names together in ways that surprise and inspire. Children’s fiction is well represented and we are spoilt for choice with the calibre of Irish language writers.

International Literature Festival Dublin is a Dublin City Council initiative, kindly funded by The Arts Council. – see www.ilfdublin.com for more information and tickets. We’re sorry we won’t see you at usual pop-up Gutter bookstalls this year but we’re delighted to work with ILFDublin to provide you with books by their keynote speakers.

And remember that there’s no postage to pay in Ireland if you spend over €30 or if you choose to collect your books from either of our bookshops. Just choose the ‘Free Shipping’ or ‘Click & Collect’ options at checkout!

  • Patrick Freyne has tried a lot of stupid ideas in his life. Now, in his scintillating debut, he is here to tell you about them: like the time (aged 5) he opened a gate and let a horse out of its field, just to see what would happen; or the time (aged 19) he jumped out of a plane for charity, even though he didn't much care about the charity and was sure he'd end up dead; or the time (aged old enough to know better) he used a magazine as a funnel for fuel when the petrol cap on his band's van broke. He has also learned a few things: about the power of group song; about the beauty of physically caring for another human being; about childlessness; about losing friends far too young. Life as seen through the eyes of Patrick Freyne is stranger, funnier and a lot more interesting than life as we generally know it. Like David Sedaris or Nora Ephron, he creates an environment all his own - fundamentally comic, sometimes moving, always deeply humane. 'Patrick Freyne is a comic genius' Marian Keyes 'Clever, lovely and great, great fun' Roddy Doyle ISBN 9781844884889
  • The Irish language has thirty-two words for field. Among them are: Geamhar - a field of corn-grass Tuar - a field for cattle at night Reidhlean - a field for games or dancing Cathairin - a field with a fairy-dwelling in it The richness of a language closely tied to the natural landscape offered our ancestors a more magical way of seeing the world. Before we cast old words aside, let us consider the sublime beauty and profound oddness of the ancient tongue that has been spoken on this island for almost 3,000 years. In Thirty-Two Words for Field, Manchán Magan meditates on these words - and the nuances of a way of life that is disappearing with them. ISBN 9780717187973
  • An anthology of the very best Irish short stories, selected by Sinéad Gleeson, author of Constellations. There have been many anthologies of the short story as it developed in Ireland, but never a collection like this. The Art of the Glimpse is a radical revision of the canon of the Irish story, uniting classic works with neglected writers and marginalised voices - women, LGBT writers, Traveller folk-tales, lost 19th-century voices and the first wave of 'new Irish' writers from elsewhere now making a life in Ireland. Sinéad Gleeson brings together stories ranging from the sublime to the downright bizarre, from classics to the new generation of writers, and from well known names to previously unpublished talent. The collection paints a tremendous spectrum of experience: the story of a prank come good by Bram Stoker; Sally Rooney on the love languages of the new generation; Donal Ryan on the pains of ageing; Edna O'Brien on political entanglements; James Joyce on losing a loved one; and the internal monologue of a coma sufferer by Marian Keyes. List of contributing authors: Samuel Beckett, Sally Rooney, Melatu Uche Okirie, William Trevor, Marian Keyes, Kevin Barry, Edna O'Brien, Claire-Louise Bennett, Sheridan Le Fanu, Danielle McLaughlin, Mairtin O Cathain, Frances Molloy, Blindboy Boatclub, Elizabeth Bowen, Frank O'Connor, Chiamaka Emyi-Amadi, John McGahern, Anne Enright, Mike McCormack, Maeve Brennan, Oein de Bhairduin, Eimear McBride, Sean O Faolain, Cathy Sweeney. Orders will be supplied with a Free Ltd Edition Tote Bag! ISBN 9781788548809
  • 'There are so many people in this world - 7.53 billion to be exact. But there is only one of me and one of you. It's easy to think we are not good enough, or that our nose is too big, or wish we could be more like our friends. But the world would be different without you. You are enough just as you are.. .' Sometimes it can seem like the world isn't built for you or like you don't belong. But why should you change who you are for the sake of others? Sinéad Burke is an advocate, activist, teacher, writer and British vogue cover model. She also happens to be a little person at three and a half feet tall. Reflecting on her experiences growing up, Sinéad offers a heartfelt and inspiring guide to young readers on believing in themselves and finding comfort and pride in their own skin. From the power of being different and discovering things you love about yourself, to using your voice to be an ally and show friendship to others, it's time to break the mould and find your place in the world. Great for Ages 7-12. ISBN 9781526363336
  • From the prize-winning author of To Be a Machine - meet the men and women preparing for the end of the world In the remote mountains of Scotland, in high-tech bunkers in South Dakota and in the lush valleys of New Zealand, small groups of determined men and women are getting ready. They are environmentalists who fear the ravages of climate change; billionaire entrepreneurs dreaming of life on Mars; and right-wing conspiracists yearning for a lost American idyll. One thing unites them: their certainty that we are only years away from the end of civilization as we know it. Not unconcerned himself by the possibility of the end of days, Mark O'Connell set out to meet them. ISBN 9781783786374
  • London, 1996. Robin and Ruth meet in the staff room of an East London school. Robin, desperate for a real connection, instantly falls in love. Ruth, recently bereaved and fragile, is tentative. When Robin introduces Ruth to his childhood friend, Joseph, a tortured and talented artist, their attraction is instant. Powerless, Robin watches on as the girl he loves and his best friend begin a passionate and turbulent affair. Dublin 2017. Robin and Ruth are married and have a son, Sid, who is about to emigrate to Berlin. Theirs is a marriage haunted by the ghost of Joseph and as the distance between them grows, Robin makes a choice that could have potentially devastating consequences. The Weight of Love is a beautiful exploration of how we manage life when the notes and beats of our existence, so carefully arranged, begin to slip off the stave. An intimate and moving account of the intricacies of marriage and the myriad ways in which we can love and be loved. 'Delicate, powerful, hypnotic.' DONAL RYAN ISBN 9781781620458
  • *Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2020* *Winner of non-fiction book of the year at the Irish Book Awards* -'Utterly magnificent. Raw, thought-provoking and galvanising; this is a book every woman should read.'Eimear McBride. I have come to think of all the metal in my body as artificial stars, glistening beneath the skin, a constellation of old and new metal. A map, a tracing of connections and a guide to looking at things from different angles. How do you tell the story of a life in a body, as it goes through sickness, health, motherhood? How do you tell that story when you are not just a woman but a woman in Ireland? In the powerful and daring essays in Constellations Sinead Gleeson does that very thing. All of life is within these pages, from birth to first love, pregnancy to motherhood, terrifying sickness, old age and loss to death itself. Throughout this wide-ranging collection she also turns her restless eye outwards delving into work, art and our very ways of seeing. In the tradition of some of our finest life writers, and yet still in her own spirited, generous voice, Sinead takes us on a journey that is both uniquely personal and yet universal in its resonance. Here is the fierce joy and pain of being alive. ***SHORTLISTED FOR DALKEY LITERARY AWARDS 2020*** 'Breathtaking and sublime.' - Nina Stibbe. 'Absolutely extraordinary and life-enhancing.' - Daisy Buchanan, author of How to be Grown-up. ISBN 9781509892778
  • Until alarmingly recently, the Catholic Church, acting in concert with the Irish state, operated a network of institutions for the concealment, punishment and exploitation of 'fallen women'. In the Magdalene laundries, girls and women were incarcerated and condemned to servitude. And in the mother-and-baby homes, women who had become pregnant out of wedlock were hidden from view, and in most cases their babies were adopted - sometimes illegally. Mortality rates in these institutions were shockingly high, and the discovery of a mass infant grave at the mother-and-baby home in Tuam made news all over the world. The Irish state has commissioned investigations. But the workings of the institutions and of the culture that underpinned it - a shame-industrial complex - have long been cloaked in secrecy and silence. For countless people, a search for answers continues. Caelainn Hogan - a brilliant young journalist, born in an Ireland that was only just starting to free itself from the worst excesses of Catholic morality - has been talking to the survivors of the institutions, to members of the religious orders that ran them, and to priests and bishops. She has visited the sites of the institutions, and studied Church and state documents that have much to reveal about how they operated. Reporting and writing with great curiosity, tenacity and insight, she has produced a startling and often moving account of how an entire society colluded in this repressive system, and of the damage done to survivors and their families. In the great tradition of Anna Funder's Stasiland and Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy: Real Lives in North Korea - both winners of the Samuel Johnson Prize - Republic of Shame is an astounding portrait of a deeply bizarre culture of control. 'Achingly powerful... There will be many people who don't want to read Republic of Shame, for fear it will be too much, too dark, too heavy. Please don't be afraid. Read it. Look it in the eye' Irish Times' ISBN 9780241984123
  • LARGE PAPERBACK From the Booker-winning Irish author, a brilliant and moving novel about fame, sexual power, and a daughter's search to understand her mother's hidden truths. This is the story of Irish theatre legend Katherine O'Dell, as told by her daughter Norah. It tells of early stardom in Hollywood, of highs and lows on the stages of Dublin and London's West End. Katherine's life is a grand performance, with young Norah watching from the wings. But this romance between mother and daughter cannot survive Katherine's past, or the world's damage. As Norah uncovers her mother's secrets, she acquires a few of her own. Then, fame turns to infamy when Katherine decides to commit a bizarre crime. Actress is about a daughter's search for the truth: the dark secret in the bright star, and what drove Katherine finally mad. Brilliantly capturing the glamour of post-war America and the shabbiness of 1970s Dublin, Actress is an intensely moving, disturbing novel about mothers and daughters and the men in their lives. A scintillating examination of the corrosive nature of celebrity, it is also a sad and triumphant tale of freedom from bad love, and from the avid gaze of the crowd. ISBN 9781787332072
  • A dark, feminist retelling of ‘The Children of Lir’ told in Sullivan’s hypnotic prose. A retelling of the favourite Irish fairytale ‘The Children of Lir’. Aífe marries Lir, a king with four children by his previous wife. Jealous of his affection for his children, the witch Aífe turns them into swans for 900 years. Retold through the voice of Aífe, Savage Her Reply is unsettling and dark, feminist and fierce, yet nuanced in its exploration of the guilt of a complex character. Voiced in Sullivan’s trademark rich, lyrical prose as developed in Tangleweed and Brine – the multiple award-winner which established Sullivan as the queen of witchy YA. With stunning black and white illustrations by new Irish illustrator Karen Vaughan. Perfect for older teens (15+). ISBN 9781912417643
  • The first volume in Tim Robinson's phenomenal Connemara Trilogy - which Robert Macfarlane has called 'One of the most remarkable non-fiction projects undertaken in English'. In its landscape, history and folklore, Connemara is a singular region: ill-defined geographically, and yet unmistakably a place apart from the rest of Ireland. Tim Robinson, who established himself as Ireland's most brilliant living non-fiction writer with the two-volume Stones of Aran, moved from Aran to Connemara nearly twenty years ago. This book is the result of his extraordinary engagement with the mountains, bogs and shorelines of the region, and with its folklore and its often terrible history: a work as beautiful and surprising as the place it attempts to describe. ISBN 9781844880669
  • A spectacular new title from world-renowned artist Oliver Jeffers, creator of the million-copy selling, global phenomenon Here We Are! What shall we build, you and I? I'll build your future and you'll build mine. We'll build a watch to keep our time. A father and daughter set about laying the foundations for their life together. Using their own special tools, they get to work; building memories to cherish, a home to keep them safe and love to keep them warm. From renowned, internationally bestselling picture-book creator and visual artist, Oliver Jeffers, comes this rare and enduring story about a parent's boundless love, life's endless opportunities and all we need to build a together future. Great for Ages 0-6. ISBN 9780008382209
  • HARDBACK From the Booker-winning Irish author, a brilliant and moving novel about fame, sexual power, and a daughter's search to understand her mother's hidden truths. This is the story of Irish theatre legend Katherine O'Dell, as told by her daughter Norah. It tells of early stardom in Hollywood, of highs and lows on the stages of Dublin and London's West End. Katherine's life is a grand performance, with young Norah watching from the wings. But this romance between mother and daughter cannot survive Katherine's past, or the world's damage. As Norah uncovers her mother's secrets, she acquires a few of her own. Then, fame turns to infamy when Katherine decides to commit a bizarre crime. Actress is about a daughter's search for the truth: the dark secret in the bright star, and what drove Katherine finally mad. Brilliantly capturing the glamour of post-war America and the shabbiness of 1970s Dublin, Actress is an intensely moving, disturbing novel about mothers and daughters and the men in their lives. A scintillating examination of the corrosive nature of celebrity, it is also a sad and triumphant tale of freedom from bad love, and from the avid gaze of the crowd. ISBN 9781787332065
  • I am afraid of being the disruptive woman. And of not being disruptive enough. I am afraid. But I am doing it anyway.'In this dazzling debut, Emilie Pine speaks to the business of living as a woman in the 21st century - its extraordinary pain and its extraordinary joy. Courageous, humane and uncompromising, she writes with radical honesty on birth and death, on the grief of infertility, on caring for her alcoholic father, on taboos around female bodies and female pain, on sexual violence and violence against the self. Devastatingly poignant and profoundly wise - and joyful against the odds - Notes to Self offers a portrait not just of its author but of a whole generation. ISBN 9780241986226
  • Sinead Hynes is a tough, driven, funny young property developer with a terrifying secret. No-one knows it: not her fellow patients in a failing hospital, and certainly not her family. She has confided only in Google and a shiny magpie. But she can't go on like this, tirelessly trying to outstrip her past and in mortal fear of her future. Across the ward, Margaret Rose is running her chaotic family from her rose-gold Nokia. In the neighbouring bed, Jane, rarely but piercingly lucid, is searching for a decent bra and for someone to listen. Sinead needs them both. As You Were is about intimate histories, institutional failures, the kindness of strangers, and the darkly present past of modern Ireland. It is about women's stories and women's struggles. It is about seizing the moment to be free. Wildly funny, desperately tragic, inventive and irrepressible, As You Were introduces a brilliant voice in Irish fiction with a book that is absolutely of our times. 'A truly original voice. Raw, urgent and uncompromising about the lengths we go to to conceal hurt, deception, psychic pain... A brilliant portrayal of the kindness of strangers, the kinship of women and the heartbreak of married love' - Mary Costello. *Publication moved to August 2020 - Pre-order Now* ISBN 9781787301641
  • Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of the American Dream. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. Until one day they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn't commit. Devastated and unmoored, Celestial finds herself struggling to hold on to the love that has been her centre, taking comfort in Andre, their closest friend. When Roy's conviction is suddenly overturned, he returns home ready to resume their life together. A masterpiece of storytelling, An American Marriage offers a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three unforgettable characters who are at once bound together and separated by forces beyond their control. WINNER OF THE WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION, 2019. ISBN 9781786075192
  • When the Greek Queen Helen is kidnapped by Trojans, the Greeks sail in pursuit, besieging the city of Troy. Trapped in the Greek soldiers' camp is another captured queen, Briseis. Condemned to be bed-slave to Achilles, the man who butchered her family, she becomes a pawn in a menacing game between bored and frustrated warriors. In the centuries after this most famous war, history will write her off, a footnote in a bloody story scripted by vengeful men - but Briseis has a very different tale to tell... Shorlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction, the Costa Novel Award and the Gordon Burn Prize. ISBN 9780241983201
  • "Every person has their own thoughts in their head,and their own feelings in their heart. Every single person is different. And only they know how to be them." Only a Tree knows how to be a tree! But trees are just the start - everything and everyone is different and special. Birds, dogs, fishes, people - and our Earth itself - all have their own unique place in our world. And only you know how to be you. With a sure touch, this book shows every child its place in the world, and how everyone and everything is both part of the whole and special in itself. ISBNGreat for Ages 0-6 9781910959251
  • Which are the biggest and smallest animals? Which are the most dangerous? Why do dogs love people so much? What animals can live in the heat of the desert, or deep below the oceans? Sarah Webb is animal crazy and has put the answers to all these questions and more in Animal Crackers, a book bursting with information about animals of all types!Crammed full of pictures, cartoons and more from Alan Nolan this is the perfect book for children who want to know more about our furry, feathered (and scaly!) friends. With a special section on Irish wildlife, and the 'Irish Animal Detective' activities, children will want to explore their gardens, parks and beaches to seek out all kinds of native animals. Animal Crackers also provides fun facts and engaging activities that kids will love - from how to draw your favourite animals to suggestions on how you can help save the planet! ISBN 9781788490658 Great for Ages 6+
  • This book and CD edition of the exquisite and thought-provoking Here We Are comes with heartfelt, award-winning audio, read by the internationally best-selling creator himself, Oliver Jeffers! Well, hello. And welcome to this Planet. We call it Earth. Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you've only just got here. Your head will be filled with questions, so let's explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey. And you'll figure lots of things out for yourself. Just remember to leave notes for everyone else... Some things about our planet are pretty complicated, but things can be simple, too: you've just got to be kind. Here We Are is the utterly heartfelt new book from Oliver Jeffers. We're glad you found it. ISBNGreat for Ages 0-6 9780008354749
  • In an unnamed city, where to be interesting is dangerous, an eighteen-year-old woman has attracted the unwanted and unavoidable attention of a powerful and frightening older man, 'Milkman'. In this community, where suggestions quickly become fact, where gossip and hearsay can lead to terrible consequences, what can she do to stop a rumour once it has started? Milkman is persistent, the word is spreading, and she is no longer in control... 'Utterly compelling.' Irish Times ISBN 9780571338757
  • "Humans, as is there wont, have a terrible habit of making a mess of everything." Mirabelle has always known she is a monster. When the glamour protecting her unusual family from the human world is torn and an orphaned brother and sister stumble upon Rookhaven, Mirabelle soon discovers that friendship can be found in the outside world. But as something far more sinister comes to threaten them all, it quickly becomes clear that the true monsters aren't necessarily the ones you can see. A thought-provoking, chilling and beautifully written novel, Padraig Kenny's The Monsters of Rookhhaven, stunningly illustrated by Edward Bettison, explores difference and empathy through the eyes of characters you won't want to let go. Great for Ages 9-12. ISBN 9781529054705
  • Dazzlingly beautiful and wonderfully inventive, discover the magical new book from the creators of bestselling, critically acclaimed literary phenomenon, The Lost Words... Kindred in spirit to The Lost Words but fresh in its form, The Lost Spells is a pocket-sized treasure that introduces a beautiful new set of natural spell-poems and artwork by beloved creative duo Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. As in The Lost Words, these "spells" take their subjects from relatively commonplace, and yet underappreciated, animals, birds, trees and flowers -- from Barn Owl to Red Fox, Grey Seal to Silver Birch, Jay to Jackdaw. But they break out of the triptych format of The Lost Words, finding new shapes, new spaces and new voices with which to conjure. Written to be read aloud, painted in brushstrokes that call to the forest, field, riverbank and also to the heart, The Lost Spells summons back what is often lost from sight and care, and inspires protection and action on behalf of the natural world. Above all, it celebrates a sense of wonder, bearing witness to nature's power to amaze, console and bring joy. ISBN 9780241444641
  • Set in the fictional town of Inthington, 'Elsetime' is an adventurous tale of courage and ambition and is based on a real-life tragic event; The Great Flood of 1928 at the Thames in London. It is the story of two misfits – a poor mudlark from 1864 and an impetuous jeweller’s apprentice in 1928 – that, together, can overcome the odds to get everything they need. 'Elsetime is a tale that combines time-travel with evocative description and colourful characterisation to create a unique and compelling story of friendship and courage.' Steve Voake, author of The Dream Walker's Child. ISBN 9781911427179 Ideal for Ages 9-12
Go to Top