John Banville interviewed by Kevin Power

Sun 19 Nov 4:30pm - 5:30pm

John Banville and book jacket


4:30pm - 5:30pm


Famed for both his literary work under his own name, and crime writing under the name Benjamin Black, John Banville’s latest book The Lock Up revisits his crime-solving character of Dr Quirke, this time without the pen name. The pathologist teams up with a detective to solve a murder mystery set in 1950s Dublin, after the body of a young woman is discovered in a garage.

In The Singularities, his previous novel, John Banville revisits some of his earlier characters and novels with surprising results. A strange man, just released from prison, returns to his childhood home and is confronted with a family struggling with its secrets. Frank Montgomery will be familiar to those who have read Ghosts and Athena; it adds a layer of detective work to The Singularities. But for those who are unfamiliar with the Banville character, The Singularities remains a standalone tale.

In this event Banville will be joined by Kevin Power to discuss his career to date, his process for writing and the complexities of revisiting characters years later. He returns time after time to themes of loss, obsession, destructive love, and the pain that accompanies freedom. The pair will also discuss their progress towards world-renowned authorship, the pressure that comes from writing a best-selling novel and how it impacts, and possibly clouds, subsequent work.

John Banville won The Man Booker Prize in 2005 for his novel The Sea and in 2007 saw his entire body of work shortlisted for The Man Booker International Prize. Banville also won the Franz Kafka Prize in 2011 and has won the Guardian Fiction Prize, the Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, the Princess of Asturias Award for Literature and the Irish Novel of the Year.

Kevin Power is the author of Bad Day in Blackrock​, which was filmed as What Richard Did, directed by Lenny Abrahamson; White City; and The Written World: Essays and Reviews. Kevin is the winner of the 2009 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Dublin Review, The Stinging Fly and many other places. Kevin lives in Dublin and teaches creative writing in the School of English, Trinity College Dublin.