- 18 Dec 17
With a cluster of awards to his name, novelist and playwright Sebastian Barry is one of Ireland’s most successful writers. This year saw him win the Costa Prize for an unprecedented second time with his most recent novel, Days Without End. But there has been considerable turbulence along the way for a man who is completely committed to the precarious world of literary creativity. Depression, gay rights and repealing the eighth are all on the agenda, in a powerful and moving interview. By Jason O’Toole
We here at Hot Press were not the only ones in Ireland celebrating a 40th anniversary in the publishing game this year: 1977 was also when Sebastian Barry started seriously bashing away at the keyboard of his battered old typewriter, harbouring dreams of greatness too.
2017 turned out to be another memorable year for one of our greatest living writers: back in February, he became the first ever novelist to twice win the Costa Book of the Year for his superb novel, Days Without End. He was inspired to write the insightful novel about a gay character after then his 16-year-son Toby came out to him.
The Dublin-born writer, who now lives in the wilds of County Wicklow, hails from a creative clan and could’ve ended up going down a number of different artistic avenues. He first toyed with the idea of becoming a painter, when his grandfather took him under his wing as a young boy and taught him about watercolours and acrylics.