Thursday, December 3rd 2020
9pm Ireland / 4pm NYC
presented with The Irish Arts Centre NYC

Behind the World; The Maeve Brennan story

Booker Prize winning authors Anne Enright & Roddy Doyle in conversation with Deborah Treisman (The New Yorker)

“The little side streets that live off Broadway also live in the shadow of Broadway, and there are times, looking from the windows of the hotel where I live at present, on West Forty-ninth Street, when I think that my hotel and all of us here on this street are behind the world instead of in it.”

An excerpt from ‘A Snowy Night on West Forty-ninth Street’
An article published in The New Yorker in

That sentiment of being ‘behind the world instead of in it’ is perhaps how Maeve Brennan so effectively captured the grains of New York life in her loved Long‐winded Lady column, and similarly, the tiny pulses of relationship in her stories. It also, perhaps, captures her restless relationship with, or existence in, both New York and Dublin.

Maeve Brennan’s life spans 100 years of Irish history. She is the daughter of two Irish revolutionaries, before her father became the first Republic of Ireland Ambassador to the United States,  She is also the gran-aunt of Roddy Doyle. Her personal story in the years between, however, is one of the most extraordinary, artistic and tragic of all told of the Irish in New York.

Born in Dublin in 1917, she spent her early childhood in a house on Cherryfield Avenue, Ranelagh, Dublin 6, before emigrating to the U.S. with her family as a teenager. She worked at both Harper’s Bazaar and the New Yorker from the 1950s through to the 1970s, publishing many short stories at these titles, and became best known to the American public under the pseudonym of ‘The Long-Winded Lady’ via her ‘Talk of the Town’ column at the New Yorker. However, Brennan could not shake off the formative influence that Ireland had on her life, and it became the setting of her finest works. She left a legacy of short fiction following her death in 1993, including The Springs of Affection: Stories of DublinThe Rose Garden: Short Stories and the novella The Visitor.

Anne Enright

Anne Enright was born in Dublin, where she now lives and works. She has written two collections of stories, published together as Yesterday’s Weather, one book of non-fiction, Making Babies, and six novels, including The Gathering, which won the 2007 Man Booker Prize, The Forgotten Waltz, which was awarded the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and The Green Road, which was the Bord Gáis Energy Novel of the Year and won the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. In 2015 she was appointed as the first Laureate for Irish Fiction, and delivered her inaugural Laureate lecture on Maeve Brennan at the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House at New York University. In 2018 she received the Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature.

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Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He is the author of eleven acclaimed novels including The Commitments, The Snapper, The Van and Smile, two collections of short stories, and Rory & Ita, a memoir about his parents. He won the Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

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Deborah Treisman

Deborah Treisman has been Fiction Editor at The New Yorker since 2003, having joined the magazine in 1997. Previously, she was the managing editor of  Grand Street, and she has served on the editorial staffs of The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, and The Threepenny Review. Her translations have appeared in The New YorkerThe NationHarper’s, and Grand Street. She is the host of the award-winning New Yorker Fiction Podcast, and the editor of the anthology 20 Under 40: Stories from The New Yorker. Ms. Treisman was born in Oxford, England, and attended the University of California at Berkeley. She lives with her husband and two daughters in New York City.

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