Soula Emmanuel , Dingle Lit 2023

Who is “the most exciting new voice in Irish writing”?

6:33am | Sun 22 Oct 2023

Soula Emmanuel has been described as “the most exciting new voice in Irish writing.” The young Greek Irish author grew up on the East coast and published her astounding debut novel, Wild Geese, in March. The writing project, which began during lockdown, coincided with her own experiences transitioning, and although it is fiction, is undoubtedly informed by them.

Wild Geese is proof that Soula is the most exciting new voice in Irish writing.” i-D

Wild Geese tells the story of Phoebe Forde, an Irish trans PhD candidate not only adjusting to a new life studying in Copenhagen, but also adjusting to a new way of life in a woman’s body. Phoebe’s sense of self is rocked when an ex-girlfriend, from when Phoebe was still presenting as male, turns up on her doorstep unannounced. Spending the weekend together churns up all sorts of emotions and memories, and a romance both familiar and strikingly new rekindles.

“It evokes James Joyce in its tight, hour-by-hour structure; Samuel Beckett in its Godot-esque two-hander cast; even W.B. Yeats with the wild geese of its title harking back to his poem September 1913.” i-D

The first novel published by an Irish trans author, Wild Geese is like nothing you have ever read before. Sweet, funny, eye-opening and unique, it gently rolls through the rollercoaster of emotions Phoebe feels of the course of the weekend.

Speaking to i-D magazine, Soula said: “The skills I felt I built up in denying things to myself probably helped me to become a fiction writer.”

Soula Emmanuel will be interviewed by Chandrika Narayan-Mohan at 12pm on Saturday 18th November in An Díseart. Reserve your tickets here.