This post is by Liz McManus, Excerpts from her novel The Disappeared appear in our anthology.
In 1989 I won the Short Story Award at Listowel Writers’ Week. A proud moment but, to my lasting regret, I couldn’t travel down to Kerry for the award ceremony because a General Election had been called. A friend received the award on my behalf and trundled back to Bray with an inscribed cut-glass decanter with my name on it. I put it on the mantelpiece but it wasn’t the same. I knew I’d missed something special. Life as a politician demands total commitment The writer and political activist, Grace Paley once said, when she was asked why she never wrote a novel “ Because life is the short and art is too long.” That rang a bell with me.
But second chances do come along. This June, other writers and I will be travelling to Listowel, not to receive awards, but to give readings from A Thoroughly Good Blue. We will be a representative group from the Master’s in Creative Writing Class of 2012 in TCD. We come from the United States, China, Belgium and Bray. We are poets and fiction writers; young writers and not so young.
We will be going to a unique place of literature in Ireland, since Listowel has been the birthplace of an extraordinary number of writers.
For me, it will be a special journey. In my mind I’ll be going to pick up that award and I’ll only be twenty-three years late.