In Conversation: John Banville and Laura Beatty

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Literary conversation, chaired by Vincent Woods

Event Details

The Studio, National Concert Hall, Dublin

January 29, 2023 3:30 PM

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In Conversation: John Banville and Laura Beatty
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About the event

‘Who speaks here? I do, little god, the great ones having absconded.’ Enter Hermes, the god who narrates The Singularities, the latest playful novel by John Banville.

ClassicsNow invites you to hear this Booker Prize-winning author discuss the Classical themes in his latest book, and all of his work, with fellow writer, Laura Beatty, whose interests span myth, ancient history and European literature. 

Laura Beatty’s new book, Looking For Theophrastus: Travels in Search of a Lost Philosopher, is a fascinating quest to recover traces of the ancient past in the present. Travelling to the Greek island of Lesbos, she pieces together what she can find about Theophrastus, the 4th Century BC natural philosopher and friend of Aristotle, whose character studies influenced medieval writers such as Chaucer. 

Join us for a discussion that will range from ancient myth and cultural memory to science – and everything in between. 

Chaired by writer and broadcaster, Vincent Woods. 


John Banville photo by Douglas Banville

John Banville is the author of seventeen novels, including Kepler, Copernicus, The Newton Letter, The Book of Evidence, Athena, Ghosts and The Infinities. He is the winner of numerous major international awards and prizes, including the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature and the Man Booker Prize for The Sea. He was Literary Editor of the Irish Times from 1988-99. The Singularities: a Novel is published by Knopf.

Laura Beatty is the author of two novels and two biographies, as well as her delightfully genre-defying work, Lost Property, about a road trip across Europe. Her first novel, Pollard, won the Authors’ Club First Novel Award. Looking for Theophrastus is published by Atlantic Books. 

Vincent Woods is an Irish writer and broadcaster whose plays include At the Black Pig’s Dyke and A Cry from Heaven; and several plays for radio. His poetry collections are The Colour of Language and Lives and Miracles. He co-edited The Turning Wave: Poems and Songs of Irish Australia, and Fermata:Writings Inspired by Music (with Eva Bourke). Other publications are Leaves of Hungry Grass: Poetry and Ireland’s Great Hunger and Borderlines (with Henry Glassie). With Edwina Guckian he co-directed and produced the film Bealach an Fhéir Ghortaigh/Hunger’s Way for Strokestown International Poetry Festival 2021.

Vincent has been Writer in Residence at NUI Galway where he taught drama and creative writing. He has scripted and presented many arts programmes and documentaries on RTÉ Radio 1. He directs the Iron Mountain Literature Festival in Leitrim and is a member of Aosdána. 

Festival Partners

Literature IrelandInstituto Italiano di Cultura DublinoThe Classical Teachers Association of IrelandThe Classical Association of IrelandThe Classical Association of Northern IrelandAdvocating Classics EducationIrish Institute of Hellenic Studies at AthensMaynooth UniversityTrinity College DublinInstituto Italiano di Cultura Dublino

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