Belfast Book Festival
Join us for Translink's Novel Journeys Book Club as we welcome Pulitzer prize winning American author Richard Ford, and local hero Michael Magee, author of the acclaimed Close to Home, for a conversation on writing life with editor and essayist Tara McEvoy.
Richard Ford has been called the “quintessential American novelist”, and is the author of 8 novels, including The Sportswriter and its sequels, one of which, Independence Day, won him the Pulitzer prize.
Michael Magee’s debut Close to Home (Hamish Hamilton, 2023), is a stirring portrait of modern masculinity sculpted by class, trauma, and love, “a staggeringly humane and tender evocation of class, violence and the challenge of belonging in a world that seems designed to keep you watching from the sidelines.” (The Guardian).
Join these spectacular writers for a fascinating conversation about masculinity, class and what writing means to them.
Novel Journeys Book Club is a partnership between the Belfast Book Festival, Translink and independent bookstore, No Alibis, to champion the benefits of reading and to stay connected with their passengers and the wider public. Every month, Translink announces a new title via social media to help passengers switch off, unwind and support their mental wellbeing.
Richard Ford is an American novelist and short story writer. He studied English at Michigan State University, although he had initially signed up to study hotel management. He went on to earn a Masters of Fine Arts degree at the University of California, where he was taught by Oakley Hall and E.L. Doctorow, who were both big influences for him. His first two novels sold poorly, leading Richard to take up sports writing. When the magazine he was working for failed, Ford returned to fiction writing with The Sportswriter in 1986. It was an immediate critical and commercial success. In 1995, Independence Day, one of two sequels to The Sportswriter, became the first book to win both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in the same year. For the last 25 years, Ford has been a prolific writer and hugely in demand as both an editor and lecturer. He currently lives in Maine with his wife.
Michael Magee is the fiction editor of The Tangerine and a graduate of the PhD Creative Writing programme at Queen's University, Belfast. His writing has appeared in Winter Papers, The Stinging Fly, The Lifeboat and in The 32: An Anthology of Working Class Writing. Close to Home is his first novel.
Tara McEvoy is a postdoctoral research fellow at Trinity College Dublin, and editor of The Tangerine, a Belfast-based magazine of new writing.