Mark O’Connell investigates transhumanism, the secular religion that believes humanity should use technology to evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations.
Exploring the staggering possibilities and moral quandaries that present themselves when you of think of your body as a device, O’Connell visits the world’s foremost cryonics facility to witness how some have chosen to forestall death. Where is our obsession with technology leading us? What does the rise of AI mean for our humanity? Could the technologies we create to help us eventually bring us to harm? Addressing these questions, O’Connell presents a profound, provocative, often laugh-out-loud-funny look at an influential movement with, as the FT describes, “extraordinary exuberance and wit”.
In conversation with Patrick Freyne.
Could Trump actually make America great again? Up to now Wall Street has gambled on that outcome. The man who was the brains behind the world’s largest bond fund, all $1.5 trillion of it – that’s ten times Ireland’s GDP – Mr Paul McCulley, has flown in from California to share his thoughts and insights into what Trump means for America, Ireland and the world economy. He is joined by Alec Russell, the editor of the most influential newspaper in the world, the Financial Times Weekend and Russian analyst, Jana Bakunina.
Chaired by David McWilliams.
Carmel Ui Cheallaigh (writer) and Jimmy Burns (illustrator) host the “Creating a Picture Book” workshop, suitable for aspiring and emerging picture book writers and illustrators. The workshop will cover a wide range of topics, including starting to write, layout, what makes a good story, and drawing great pictures to support your story.
The one thing that happens to all of us is that we get old. But can we achieve the Holy Grail, getting old gracefully, healthily and happily? And what do you have to do now, to make sure your golden years are indeed golden?
Why not lead a full life right up to the end? Find out what’s ahead of you with the brilliant Dr Sharad Paul who we have brought back again this year all the way from New Zealand, together with two experts who live in Dalkey, Dr Jennifer Westrup and Professor Ian Robertson.
Join Gordon Snell, Gina Mullins , Gabriel and Joshua Mullins for storytime in the library. No need to book! Just come along!
(Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult.)
Writing is less profitable than ever as royalties have fallen, leaving most writers struggling or relying on a day job for a steady income. This is calamitous for individual writers. How can this be sustained, where will creativity come from and what’s the future for the writer? Are we about to go the same way as the blacksmith? Bestselling writer and winner of many awards, Donal Ryan, who despite his enormous success, has gone back to his day job to meet the rent. Beside him, we have Sharad Paul, a career physician who makes time to write fiction as well as non-fiction.
Donal Ryan and Sharad Paul will be in conversation with Paula Shields.
The Caribbean is home to rum, reggae and ganja but also to fundamentalist Christians, devout Hindu and Muslims, and is a beguiling, charming region of fascinating, diverse islands, gelled together by the horrors of slavery and the redemption of liberation movements. From Cuba, to Jamaica, Trinidad and Haiti, the Caribbean is an extraordinary melting pot of cultures, language and stories. Joshua Jelly Schapiro’s brilliant book “Island People” captures the magic of the place.
Come hear about this extraordinary corner of the globe, due South West across the Ocean from us, with one of the world’s experts on the Island People.
In conversation with Clara Rose Thornton.
When a bomb goes off, a crazed young man drives into a crowd of tourists or another group of bystanders are mowed down by a terrorist, Mehreen Khan’s phone beeps with her Muslim friends saying “I hope he isn’t called Mohammed”. Yet invariably he is Mohammed or Khalid or Sadique. Why is this? Why are young Muslims being drawn to Islamic State in the first place?
Two Muslim writers, journalist Mehreen Khan and novelist Elif Shafak, talk to David McWilliams.
Join three phenomenally successful bestselling authors in one intimate room. Sinead Crowley’s latest thriller is partly set in (a fictionalised) Dalkey. Together with Jane Casey, author of the award-winning Maeve Kerrigan series, she will be talking to Liz Nugent about the rise and rise of the female thriller writers who dominate bestseller lists.
Ireland is at a crossroads. Relations with UK, the EU and the US are all in flux. Unification is a possibility, the church is still meddling, housing is in crisis and the banks are being flogged again. What happens next? Listen to two of Ireland’s foremost public intellectuals make sense of the state we are in.
With Diarmaid Ferriter and Fintan O’Toole and Dearbhail McDonald.
Chaired by Matt Cooper.
Calling all young writers! Join dlr Writer in Residence, Sarah Webb for this innovative writing workshop. What does Dalkey mean to you? Bright fishing boats at Bullock Harbour? The green hump of Dalkey Island? Dalkey Castle and its spooky graveyard? Bags of chips, chocolate buns?
Children will write their own short piece or poem inspired by their personal experiences of Dalkey and also a communal poem called I Am Dalkey celebrating this very special town.
Sarah Webb is an award-winning champion of children’s books and writer. Her latest book is The Songbird Girls: Aurora and the Popcorn Dolphin.
Elif has charmed, informed and mesmerized Dalkey before. She’s back with her new novel Three Daughters of Eve, confirming her status as one of the world’s greatest novelists. The acclaimed author of ten novels, Shafak is also a women’s rights activist and a frequent commentator on International affairs. Her topical new novel, set in Istanbul and Oxford , from the 1980s to the present day, follows three women who are grappling with identity, Islam and feminism.
With Gary Jermyn.
Join nutritional scientist Dr. Ruairi Robertson, for an exclusive and interactive lunchtime festival feast in Ouzos steak and seafood restaurant. Enjoy a delicious 3-course meal whilst discussing how each food affects our bodies and learning about the fascinating link between our bellies and brains.
In the midst of the Second Intifada, two acts of extreme violence lead to an act of extraordinary humanity. A suicide bomb outside a nightclub in Tel Aviv killed 22 young Israelis. In apparent retribution, an Israeli settler shot Palestinian Al-Joulani rendering him brain-dead. From the ashes of these deadly events, rose an incredible act of generosity, when the family of Al-Joulani agreed to donate his heart to a dying Israeli.
Rowan Somerville spoke with survivors and their families, interviewing the surgeon who performed the transplant, and meeting the family of the suicide bomber . In this moving account of human anger and forgiveness, Somerville untangles the roots of violence, faith and tribal conflict, and examines the possibility of redemption.
‘A riveting, intelligent and scrupulously honest journey through the torment of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It runs the gamut of human behaviour, from blood-curdling barbarity to extraordinary generosity; a tour-de-force.’ – Lara Marlowe, The Irish Times.
In conversation with Paula Shields.
Can you believe what you read or is a good story simply too good to check? Do we live in a Post-Truth World? Does who shouts loudest on social media set the agenda? Or is truth irrelevant? And is it time to regulate bloggers, who corporations use to sell their latest products, as they post everything from the “best “new face cream to fake-food stories? Is “post-truth” just a buzzword created by liberal elitists in the media who can’t cope with the fact that they’ve lost?
And if we can’t trust the media, who do we trust?
With Simon Kuper, Ross Golden Bannon, Jon Williams, Mark Little and David Goodhart.
In conversation with Andrea Catherwood.
A.N. Wilson has written over 50 books, including a biography of Queen Victoria (the basis of the highly acclaimed TV drama Victoria). Bruce Robinson is a director and screenwriter (including Withnail and I, How to Get Ahead in Advertising, The Killing Fields) and author of Jack The Ripper: An Establishment Cover Up. Roy Foster, historian, well-known critic, broadcaster, is the author of many highly acclaimed works including biographies of Parnell, Churchill and Yeats.
These three writers know a thing or two about the Victorians. Come to hear them argue, explain and explore why the Victorians hated us so much.
In conversation with Olivia O’Leary.
East West Street by Philippe Sands won the 2016 Baillie Gifford prize. It is a book for our times. It plots the descent of Lvov in Poland from the bustling multi-racial metropolis of his grandparents to a horrific killing field in a few short years. Tracing his own personal story, weaving it with the grotesque tapestry of the era and culminating in the Nuremberg Trials, Philippe implores us to recognize that without strong laws and individuals, this could happen again. He is one of Britain’s most pre-eminent human rights lawyers, as well as an activist, academic and writer. We are honoured to have him at Dalkey.
In conversation with Paul Greene.
Join Judi in a fun trip to the past. Find out the pitfalls of writing books set in another era. Laugh at Judi’s 1970s and 1980s fashion, and see wonderful historical artifacts (i.e. old stuff from her childhood).
A former primary school teacher, Judi Curtin has written 24 books for children and adults. For 2017 she was asked to write a special book to celebrate World Book Day in Ireland. Her latest book is Time After Time.
Distinguished physician Dr Sharad Paul enthralled his Dalkey audience last year with his talk on Skin. We are delighted to welcome him back to talk about you, your genes and what’s really going on under your skin.
This fascinating talk is about how your evolutionary past and genetic makeup determines who you are.
Sharad has developed a gene testing program that analyses your own personal health, fitness and dietary needs and makes recommendations related to drug metabolism, nutrient and mineral requirements, sports preferences and how you can ‘eat for your gene type’.
Festival directors Sian Smyth and David McWilliams have taken this test. Come and find out if, for example, David has the “Lazy Gene”.
Introduced by Aifric Campbell.
Sex in the afternoon with Mariella Frostrup? Come listen to Mariella sharing a handpicked selection of some of literature’s sexiest stories featuring strict mistresses, naughty maids, handsome gardeners and disarming strangers. Joining her is storyteller and Kama Sutra expert, Seema Anand. From the Kama Sutra itself, to DH Lawrence and Anaïs Nin, they prove that when it comes to the bedroom, a little fiction goes a long way!!
Seema Anand and Mariella Frostrup in conversation with Jennifer O’Connell.
The Northern Irish female voice in fiction:
What makes a writer Irish or Northern Irish or both?
What impact does her gender play?
How does being born on one side of the Border or the other change how she writes?
An anthology featuring women writers from the North of Ireland explores some of these questions.
Jan Carson and Martina Devlin discuss how this anthology came about and read some of their contributions. With editor of The Glass Shore Sinead Gleeson.
First presented in Dangan, Co Meath in June 2015 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo and the Duke of Wellington’s historic connection with the Irish countryside, the Waterloo Concert features the Delmaine String Quartet and a cast of actors and singers in a programme of music, song, poetry and prose that reflects many aspects of the great battle and its aftermath. Works by Haydn, Mozart and Mahler are performed.
Actors Michael James Ford and Gary Jermyn relive the famous battle and the epic rivalry between Wellington and Bonaparte in a narrative that includes works by Lord Byron, Thomas Hardy, Elizabeth Longford and Rudyard Kipling along with the Iron Duke’s own letters and military dispatches.
Presented by Antelope Productions & the Delmaine String Quartet.
At a time of division when there’s talk of building walls, putting up fences and securing borders, storytelling has probably never been more important. Can empathy help build bridges? And are stories better than statistics in getting people to change their perspectives?
Booker Prize winner, Marlon James is joined by the brilliant Elif Shafak and our own Donal Ryan to discuss how stories (including superstition, religion, and politics) explain the world to us . Through character and story, writers can express otherwise incommunicable feelings of the soul. The novel is the most complex and richest way of doing this and allowing us to understand, empathise and dream in a way nothing else can.
These three great novelists will talk about what truth means for a writer and whether the illusion of a story helps us better understand the human condition.
In conversation with Rick O’Shea.
To celebrate the 350th anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Swift, Stoney Road Press are publishing a limited, boxed edition of the satirical essay A Modest Proposal, illustrated by satirical cartoonist Gerald Scarfe who was commissioned to produce three etchings for the book. The Introduction is by Fintan O’Toole who will launch the book followed by a reading of the essay by actor Nick Dunning. Let’s hope he gets further than did Peter O’Toole in1984. As Fintan O’ Toole reports: “When the Gaiety Theatre held a gala performance to mark its reopening after refurbishment, Peter O’Toole was invited to do the opening turn. Presumably, the expectation was that he would do a bit of Shakespeare, perhaps, or a Yeats poem. He decided to read, slowly and deliberately, Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal, with its suggestion that the children of the Irish poor be sold as food for their landlords, “who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children”. Some members of the dress-suited audience began to heckle; others walked out. RTÉ, which was broadcasting the show live, cut O’Toole off in the middle of the reading and went to an ad break. “
Have you ever wanted to draw your favourite character or creature from your favourite book? Well, now is your chance to join a brilliant cartoonist who will help you bring your ideas to life. Mark will guide you as you draw these creations, and of course, you can bring the work home. Drawing cartoons is a rare talent that demands skill, precision, humour and ability to tell a story.
One of the finest animators in Ireland, Mark’s Punk Economics cartoons, made with David McWilliams, have been seen by over a million YouTube viewers. A former Disney cartoonist and animator, Mark’s work has featured widely in many well-known Irish animations, so you’ve probably seen his work and maybe without knowing it.
This is a very special event in the Secret Garden! A live demonstration of botanical painting with Lynn Stringer, a member of the Irish Society of Botanical Artists, will be followed by a conversation with Paddy Tobin, chairman of The Irish Garden Plant Society. Paddy will talk about the intrinsic beauty of our plants, the plants of our island, of our gardens and of our people. Tobin proves that the love of good plants and the skills of plant breeding are strong as he weaves tales of Irish snowdrops, old irises, Irish sweet peas and dahlias.
With thanks to the ISBA, the IGPS and Diane Davison
Brexit has kicked off a chain of events that have profound implications for Ireland, Britain and Europe. Its difficult to know where all this will end, but it’s clear that the next two years will be tumultuous for all of us. Come listen to Brexiteer and best selling author Louis de Bernieres, the FT Weekend’s Editor Alec Russell, Historian Roy Foster, the FT’s Mehreen Khan and and former Irish diplomat Ray Bassett discuss the issues.
Chaired by BBC Radio 4’s Andrea Catherwood.
Writing Competitions and Literary Journals: how important are they and do they really launch writing careers?
Writers Kerrie O’Brien, Sally Rooney, R.M. Clarke along with Sean Preston of Open Pen magazine talk to Sinead Gleeson.
Best-selling, award-winning authors, Maggie O’Farrell and John Boyne, discuss their latest novels and the importance of a sense of place in their writing.
This Must be The Place is an irresistible love story shot through with humour and wisdom, that crisscrosses continents and time zones. Inventive, moving and hilarious, it is a dazzling, intimate epic about who we leave behind and who we become as we search for our place in the world.
The Heart’s Invisible Furies, travels around the world from Dublin, Amsterdam and New York and back home. Historical characters are mixed with fictional characters and other world events are retold from the perspective of an ordinary Irish man . One man’s story becomes the story of Ireland itself as he spends a lifetime attempting to know himself and to discover where he came from and – over his three score years and ten – struggles to discover an identity, a home, a country, a place of belonging.
Joshua Jelly Schapiro’s brilliant book “Island People” captures the magic of the Caribbean from Cuba to Trinidad, Jamaica and Puerto Rico as well as the dark, exploitative history of these islands.
Maggie O’Farrell and John Boyne and Joshua Jelly Schapiro in conversation with Jennifer O’Connell.
How do you capture your own life and that of your close family in writing? How different is memoir from the autobiographical novel? Masters of the genre, in different ways, Philippe Sands, John Banville and Hyeonseo Lee, discuss the difficulty of pinning the self to paper.
Chaired by Hugh Linehan.
Marlon James’ first novel was rejected 78 times. Winning the Booker has changed his life. Long engaged with social issues that concern him, including race, racism, sexism, homophobia, post-Booker, international exposure means more people pay attention to what he has to say beyond fiction and non-fiction. But he also faces a lot more scrutiny. “I am not an activist, but I also think that as a writer writing in the world I can’t really ignore what’s going on in the world.”
When he’s not writing, he’s teaching literature in Minneapolis. We are thrilled to have him in Dalkey.
In conversation with Mariella Frostrup.
Proudly supported by AerCap
Yeats was obsessed with his own sense of himself in history. Roy Foster explores Yeats’ links with important historic events in Ireland and Europe.
As John Banville points out: “Foster has put some fifteen years of unremitting and surely at times exhausting labour into this biography W.B. Yeats: A Life – a great and important work, a triumph of scholarship, thought, and empathy such as one would hardly have thought possible in this age of disillusion. It is an achievement wholly of a scale with its heroic subject”.
Introduced by David McWilliams.
Alan Amsby, a.k.a. Mr Pussy, blazed a trail across 1970s Catholic Ireland with his outrageous alter ego, demolishing homophobic barriers from Belfast to Baltimore. He began performing his own show – modelling as a woman in Carnaby Street at the height of the Swinging Sixties. Ringo was a fan, and London was shocked (and pleasantly surprised) when it was revealed that the pretty young Sandy Shaw lookalike on the city’s billboards was a bloke. He’s had an extraordinary life, sequinned with people like Judy Garland, Bowie, The Kinks, Bonzo, Mel Gibson and more recently with Bono when they co-owned a salubrious ( and mental ) Dublin cafe in the nineties.
In conversation with Dave Kenny.
Hot off the heels of his 2016 success with Irish Box Office smash hit film “The Young Offenders”, PJ Gallagher returns to the stand-up stage with this new show.