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Nora - A Love Story of Nora and James Joyce

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As part of the Embassy's Bloomsday celebrations, Nuala O'Connor will read from her latest novel “Nora”.

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The Embassy is delighted to announce a reading by acclaimed and award-winning Irish novelist Nuala O’Connor as part of our Bloomsday celebrations. Nuala will read from “Nora”, her novel about Nora Barnacle, wife and muse to James Joyce, which has been translated into German recently. As part of the reading, she will also talk about the genesis of the novel and bringing “to vivid life a woman about whom every literature lover has surely wondered” (Joseph O’Connor). There will be an opportunity for Q&A after the reading.

Nora Barnacle is a twenty-year-old from Galway working as a maid at Finn’s Hotel in Dublin, when she meets a young James Joyce on a summer’s day. She is instantly attracted to him, natural and daring in his company. But she cannot yet imagine the extraordinary life they will share together. All Nora knows is that she likes her Jim enough to leave behind family and home, in search of a bigger, more exciting life.

As their family grows they ricochet from one European city to the next, making fast friends with the greatest artists and writers of the age as well as their wives. They are brought high and low by Jim’s ferocious ambition. But time and time again, Nora is torn between their intense and unwavering desire for each other and the constant anxiety of living hand to mouth, often made worse by Jim’s compulsion for company and attention. So, while Jim writes and drinks his way to literary acclaim, Nora provides unflinching support and inspiration, sometimes at the expense of her own happiness, and especially at that of their children, Giorgio and Lucia. Eventually, together, they achieve some longed-for security and stability, but it is hard-won and imperfect to the end.

The German translation “Nora Joyce und die Liebe zu den Büchern” has been published by Insel Verlag on April, 17th.

NUALA O’CONNOR is a novelist, short story writer and poet, and lives in Co. Galway with her family. She is the author of four previous novels, including Becoming Belle (2018) and Miss Emily (2015), a reimagining of the life of Emily Dickinson, and six short story collections, her most recent being Joyride to Jupiter (2017). She has won many prizes for her short fiction including the Francis MacManus Award, the James Joyce Quarterly Fiction Contest and the UK’s Short Fiction Journal Prize. She is editor-in-chief at flash e-zine Splonk.

www.nualaoconnor.com

Twitter: @NualaNiC

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