Sophie White’s latest novel Where I End tells the story of 19-year-old Aoileann who lives on a remote island off the coast of Ireland and, alongside her paternal grandmother, cares for her mother who is entirely dependent on them. As the family dynamic becomes increasingly claustrophobic, affecting their place in the island community, along comes new mother Rachel. Aoileann is drawn to her like a moth to a flame, with dramatic consequences. Where I End recently won The Shirley Jackson Award which recognises “outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic” and lists Stephen King as a previous winner.
Soldier Sailor, Claire Kilroy’s first novel in 10 years, also explores the suffocating experience of motherhood through the internal dialogue of a mother during her first months of life with a newborn.
White and Kilroy will discuss the parent/child relationship and explore how they both approached the same topic from a different perspective. They examine the struggle of writing from experience and the difficulties and pain that come from writing about personal relationships.
Claire Kilroy is the author of four novels and has been shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year three times. She won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2004 and was the inaugural recipient of the Markievicz Award in 2019. Sophie White is a novelist, essayist and podcaster who has written seven books. She is currently the Arts Council Writer in Residence in Dublin City University (DCU).