On Thursday 10 April, Joseph O’Connor was among the select group of Irish artistes onstage for an evening to celebrate the first ever State Visit to London of an Irish President. Joseph read from his new novel THE THRILL OF IT ALL to a packed audience of 6,000. Also onstage were Elvis Costello, Fiona Shaw, Imelda May and others.
The concert was the cultural highlight of the 4 day State visit by President Michael D. Higgins and his wife, Sabina, to Britain as guests of Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. ‘Michael D.’ in his speech from the stage celebrated the ties between Britain and Ireland.
You can read Joe’s thoughts on the event in his article in last Saturday’s Guardian. Highlights from the program were also broadcast on BBC4 on 13 April; if you have access to iPlayer, you can watch them here.
Joseph O’Connor is the author of the internationally acclaimed, million copy seller, STAR OF THE SEA, as well as many other novels including GHOST LIGHT and REDEMPTION FALLS, and several short story collections. He was born in Dublin. THE THRILL OF IT ALL is his first contemporary novel for 15 years. A successful rock group formed at university, broke up in acrimony 20 years ago. A reunion concert forces them to face their demons, and their changed lives. It will be published by Harvill Secker next month.
Praise for Joseph O’Connor:
‘Joseph O’Connor is a fantastic writer…[STAR OF THE SEA] contains the whole echelon of society, as if Ireland actually is that creaking hull.’ -- David Morrissey, Actor, BAFTA winner
‘A fine storyteller’ – Sunday Times
‘The most exciting writer of his generation.’ -- Sue Leonard, The Irish Examiner