Join Professor Barry McCrea with writer Nick Laird in this edition of Ireland’s Generation X?, a series of conversations about Ireland’s in-between generation.
“Generation X” describes the group of people born between 1965 and 1985, a generation caught between Baby Boomers and Millennials characterised by anti-establishment slacker culture, cynicism, irony, and— after the global economic crash — negative equity. An American term describing American lives, the moniker perhaps fails to accurately represent the experience of those who came of age during the 1980s and 1990s in Ireland. This series invites artists and writers who grew up in an Ireland shaped by the Troubles, social justice movements, EU membership, the Peace Process, and the Celtic Tiger, to share their work and reflect on the social and cultural influences at home and abroad.
Born in Tyrone in 1975, Nick Laird is a poet, novelist, screenwriter and former lawyer. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Betty Trask Prize, the Somerset Maugham award, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, and a Guggenheim fellowship. His last collection, Feel Free, was shortlisted for the TS Eliot award and the Derek Walcott Prize. He is the Seamus Heaney Chair of Poetry at Queen’s University, Belfast and a Writer-in-Residence at New York University.
Barry McCrea is a novelist and a scholar of comparative literature. His novel, The First Verse, won a number of awards, including the Ferro-Grumley Prize for fiction. His most recent academic book, Languages of the Night: Minor Languages and the Literary Imagination in Twentieth-Century Ireland and Europe, was awarded the René Wellek prize for the best book of 2016 by the American Comparative Literature Association. He holds the Keough Family Chair of Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he splits his teaching between its campuses in the US and Europe. He is finishing a new novel which follows the life of a Dublin suburban cul-de-sac from 1982 to the present.
Presented by MoLI in partnership with the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame.