"Love and Hurt" the themes of this years festival
For the fourteenth time, the Franco-Irish Literary Festival took place over the weekend in Dublin. While hosting a festival involving two – or often more – languages may appear to the naked eye to be slightly infeasible, this has never stopped the organisers or those with an enthusiasm for the literary wealth of both Ireland and France.
For some years now, it has been a feature of the festival to broaden the scope and invite writers from other countries to the festival and this year, the line-up included writers from Germany, the Czech Republic and Romania, as well as from Ireland and France.
Amongst the better-known literary figures from Ireland were poet Dermot Bolger and Mia Gallagher, while the line-up from the French side includes late-bloomer Bernard du Boucheron (who won the Grand Prix du Roman de l’Académie Française for his first novel at the age of 76), Prix Goncour winner Gilles Leroy and cinema-critic-turned-novelist Hélène Frappat.
“Love and Hurt” was the banner for this year’s event and the weekend of reading and discussion (all simultaneously interpreted into English or French) kicked off on Friday with an opening address from Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and rounded up the evening with a Literary Brunch at the Alliance Française and a final discussion sounding a hopeful note entitled “Starting Anew” in the company of Bernard du Boucheron, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Gilles Leroy and Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh.