We read because we want to experience lives and emotions beyond our own, to learn, to see with others’ eyes. The 32 is a celebration of working-class voices from the thirty-two counties of the island of Ireland. Edited by Paul McVeigh, this intimate and illuminating collection features memoir and essays from established and emerging Irish voices including Kevin Barry, Dermot Bolger, Roddy Doyle, Lisa McInerney, Lyra McKee and many more.
Too often, working-class writers find that the hurdles they come up against are higher and harder to leap over than those faced by writers from more affluent backgrounds. As in Common People – an anthology of working-class writers edited by Kit de Waal and the inspiration behind this collection – The 32 sees writers who have made that leap reach back to give a helping hand to those coming up behind. Without these working-class voices, without the vital reflection of real lives, or role models for working-class readers and writers, literature will be poorer.
We will all be poorer.