This is Nicole Flattery’s second appearance at Dingle Lit after a fascinating talk in 2021 about the art of the short story. It was during that conversation which she spoke about Nothing Special as it was then, a work in progress. Now complete and released earlier this year, Nothing Special tells the story of lonely teenager, Mae, living in 1960s New York. When she drops out of high school in a bid to escape the pettiness of the other girls, Mae finds herself taking a job at Andy Warhol’s Factory transcribing the interviews and conversations of his friends that ultimately formed his famous book, A Novel. While working at The Factory, Mae quickly befriends fellow typist Shelley and the two of them embark on a surreal adventure at the fringes of the countercultural movement discovering how to stay true to themselves while embracing the change of the era.
Setting the well worn coming of age story against such a well known background as Warhol’s New York and featuring the artist himself as a character – albeit a minor one – Flattery was required to conduct painstaking research. In conversation with Dingle Lit’s Deanna O’Connor, Flattery will explain what inspired her to write a novel about two women navigating this complex world.
Nothing Special is Flattery’s debut novel and comes after the release of Show Them A Good Time, her first book which won the 2020 London Magazine Prize for Debut Fiction and the Kate O’Brien Award. Her work has also been published in The Stinging Fly, The Dublin Review, The New York Times and the 2019 Faber anthology of new Irish writing. Her story Parrot won the Irish Book Awards Story of the Year in 2019, and her 2017 story Track won the White Review Short Story Prize.