Donal Ryan Reads from The Queen of Dirt Island
From Damian Barr’s Literary Salon Podcast
Damian Barr’s Literary Salon tempts the world’s best writers to read exclusively from their latest greatest works and share their own personal stories. Star guests include Jojo Moyes, John Waters, Yaa Gyasi, Mary Beard, Diana Athill and Louis de Bernières—all in front of a live audience at leading glamorous locations world-wide. Our London home is the Savoy. Suave salonnière Damian Barr is your host, and Donal Ryan is the guest.
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From the Booker longlisted author, and an Irish Times No.1 bestseller – Donal Ryan’s The Queen of Dirt Island is a searing, jubilant novel about four generations of women and the stories that bind them. On a council estate in County Tipperary, Ireland, the Aylward women stick with each other through thick and thin, and always with a wicked sense of humour.
The head of the family, Nana, is a woman who has buried two sons. Her daughter-in-law, Eileen, is estranged from her own parents, having ‘shamed’ them and given birth to Saoirse. And then there’s Saoirse herself, eavesdropping on lives she cannot comprehend. It is only when they must battle for the inheritance of Dirt Island – a narrow strip of land adjacent to Eileen’s childhood home – that they truly understand the roots that bind their lives together.
This podcast is edited and produced by Megan Bay Dorman, and programmed by Matt Casbourne.