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What writers say

John BanvilleAnne EnrightIrvine WelshJoseph O'Connor

Well known writers with Dublin connections say why Dublin is a City of Literature

John Banville

Author of The Sea Man Booker winner 2005 highlights Dublin's ability to continue to produce great writers from Jonathan Swift to Anne Enright

"Since the days of Jonathan Swift, Edmund Burke and Oliver Goldsmith to the present time of the Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney and Man Booker prizewinner Anne Enright, Dublin has had a continuing, rich and vital literary life. I believe that it is only fitting that this living tradition should be recognised by UNESCO."

John Boyne

Author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas notes Dublin writers are part of the fabric of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature

"It’s the history. It’s the love of words. It’s Joyce in his tower and Wilde in Merrion Square. It’s the walls of the Duke, decorated with the faces of thirsty dead writers, staring at us as we sink one more before the Nitelink takes us home. It’s Davy Byrne’s on Bloomsday. It’s the bookshops on Dawson Street, the students reading second-hand novels in Fellows’ Square. It’s the New Writing pages in the Tribune, the literary supplement in The Irish Times. It’s the Edmund Burke theatre at Trinity College, visiting writers reading short stories to an audience gathered on the stairs. It’s seeing ol’ Pat outside the Bank of Ireland on College Green, selling his poems for whatever you’ll give him. It’s the buskers singing One on Grafton Street while travelling children screech about what happened by lonely prison walls. It’s a city of literature, of course it is. It’s Dublin."

John Connolly

Thriller writer, author of Charlie Parker series explains how Dublins' past literary heros such as Oscar Wilde have helped create new writers

"It's always tempting to fall back on the great names of the past who have walked the streets of this city, and whose spirits continue to infuse so much of the literary life of this city, and those names in themselves would be enough to merit Dublin's consideration for this honour.  But a City of Literature should not merely resemble a UNESCO heritage site: it's not enough that, once upon a time, greatness and beauty might have occupied a place in the world, and some relic of that greatness and beauty remains and continues to resonate with us.  What is important in a City of Literature is that it remains as vibrant as it ever was.  It should not simply hold the echoes, however strong, of the voices that once spoke universal truths in it, and about it.  Instead, those voices should, in turn, have inspired others to come forward, and to raise their voices in turn.  Dublin is such a city, and I am proud to play my small part in its great literary tradition."


Anne Enright

Winner of Man Booker Prize in 2007 for The Gathering highlights the respect the City of Liteature bestows on Dublin writers

"In other towns, clever people go out and make money. In Dublin, clever people go home and write their books."


Joseph O’Connor

Author of prize-winning bestseller Star of the Sea explores the influence Dublin writers like Oscar Wilde and James Joyce has on literature worldwide

"Yeats wrote that the exiles of Romantic Ireland had "gone about the world like wind". The same is true of the stories made by Dublin's generations of writers. Swift, Shaw, Wilde, Joyce, Beckett, Behan, Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright: the list is only a partial one -- it could be four times longer -- but even so heavily-edited it is surely clear that to describe Dublin as a City of Literature would be like saying rain sometimes falls in Ireland. In happy years and in terrible ones, through constancies and great change, the writers have been among the people we could be proudest of in Dublin. They have introduced us to the world, brought news, given hope, raged at our failings, celebrated our possibility, and made this tiny windswept rock on the western shores of Europe a place that will always matter to literature."


Irvine Welsh

Author of Trainspotting acknowledges Dublin's ability to produce quality storytellers and writers

"Dublin is a city brimming with stories, the local and the international, provided by incomers and the returning members of the Irish diaspora. It's difficult to think of any place on the globe more appropriate for the UNESCO City of Literature designation."



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