Subtext and ghastly vicars

jenni murray

Last Thursday I was interviewed by an enthusiastic  Jenni Murray (above)  on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour about The Rising of Bella Casey. “We loved this novel,” she said more than once.  One of the things she picked up on was the subliminal references to O’Casey’s plays in the novel.  You don’t have to know O’Casey’s work to enjoy this novel – but it does add another layer to the narrative for the alert reader.  Using the plays as a subtext also supports the speculative thread of the novel i.e. how much Bella’s life might have leaked into O’Casey’s drama. After all, every family has its shared lore.  When there’s a writer in the family that can get mined as material. We also talked about the ethics of writing about real people – even if they’re dead – and the “ghastliness” – Jenni Murray’s description – of the Reverend Leeper, the only wholly fictional character in the book. Here’s the link to the podcast:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007qlvb/episodes/player    

Author: marymorrissy

Mary Morrissy is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. She has taught creative writing at university level in the US and Ireland for the past decade and is also an individual literary mentor. She has 30 years' experience as a journalist, having worked as a reporter/feature writer/sub-editor on three of Ireland's national dailies. She is a literary critic, reviewing fiction for the Irish Times and The Sunday Business Post. She has won a Lannan Foundation Award and a Hennessy Award for her fiction.

6 thoughts

  1. I heard it also, therefore I probably can claim number two groupie please. Excellent and human and full of fascinating detail. I’ve been trying to find a way to contact you re historical fiction. Maybe I’ll find one soon. Thank you for the interview, great listening .

    Like

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