Reading for Writers During Lockdown:
The Irish Voice: Niall Williams
“Don’t you think there’s something wonderful about the Irish voice?”
So said the actress Ann Peacock who herself has narrated – beautifully – some of my novels in audio. She is an expert on the voice, having narrated many hundreds of novels. See her here: https://www.annedover.co.uk/ and https://www.annedover.co.uk/anne-dover/
http://www.niallwilliams.com/ (a visionary writer – a new find new find for me!) His novel This Is Happiness, is set in a village in West Cork, and is narrated narrated by Irish actor Dermot Crowley. Crowley’s voice is perfect for Williams’ prose. Brilliant.
Thinking on about the novel and Anne Peacock’s observation about the Irish voice made me think further about the way that the Irish voice has dominated the nature of so-called English Literature.
In my family’s case it was migrating from the Welsh coal mining industry to the Durham one I have to thank, for my lifelong love affair with music and poetry and language in its many forms.
Spurred on by these thoughts about Anne Peacock, Niall Williams and the Irish voice, I decided to check my shelves and see just how much Irish writing has been so bedded down in my writer’s consciousness to the point of actually buying the books. I recognise that in many cases the the works of these writers have been colonised and incorporated into the so called English Canon, but the Irish identity is clearly there in the work of these artists.
As I said happy reading!