Kevin Barry Ron Rash at Kilkenny Arts Festival August 2013
Kevin Barry (Ireland) & Ron Rash (US)
Since he shared a stage at the 2011 festival with Belinda McKeon and Paul Murray, Kevin Barry’s career has gone from strength to strength. His novel, City of Bohane, recently won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, while his second collection, Dark Lies the Island, consolidated his reputation as “the most arresting and original writer to emerge from these islands in years” (Irvine Welsh).
“If you haven’t read Ron Rash yet,” wrote Arminta Wallace in The Irish Times, “you have a treat in store.” A professor of Appalachian cultural studies at Western Carolina University, Rash came relatively late to fiction, but with works like The Cove and Burning Bright (which won the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award in 2010) he has more than made up for lost time. His writing invites comparisons with John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy, and his new collection, Nothing Gold Can Stay, confirms him as a writer whose work shows “the great American short story at its best” (The London Times).