“Let Me Hear You Say Yes”

Today’s clip has been brought to me courtesy of novelist Arlene Hunt‘s twitter feed – her editor Ciara Sidine is also a talented singer and recently re-recorded Curtis Mayfield’s civil rights classic “People Get Ready”. She recorded it for the “Yes to Equality” campaign which is being held in advance of the referendum in Ireland on same-sex marriage on May 22nd. This is not an issue I can sit on the fence about. I don’t think anyone who’s read my book or knows me should be surprised to hear that I will be voting Yes. I hate this whole campaign when I see how much it is distressing gay colleagues and friends. I hate that it even has to be up for discussion. But I love this song – and wholly endorse the beautiful and dignified sentiment behind it. Please listen.

“Let Me Hear You Say Yes”

Giveaway of White Feathers :)

Giveaway has expired! Thank you all for participating!

Comment here or on Facebook, or add an entry to the rafflecopter, to be added to the giveaway list! Commenting is the easier option as rafflecopter doesn’t work on phones.

Given the drama of last night’s elections, I thought it would be a good time for some catharsis. So I am giving away one copy of my WWI novel White Feathers, shortlisted for Romantic Novel of the Year 2015 – reviews and summary here. Goodreads link here.

(Please note for the rafflecopter because it’s easy to miss that on the giveaway page, your entry will be validated not only by the action, but by clicking the little grey button on the bottom right saying “I visited” or “I tweeted” etc!)

White Feathers

2015 and 1915 – politics, governments and elections below the cut. TL:DR Asquith not an impressive figure.
Continue reading “Giveaway of White Feathers :)”

Giveaway of White Feathers :)

“Vivid, Immediate, Packing an Emotional Punch” – Review of White Feathers on A Trip to Ireland

Rich Rennicks blogs at the popular expat blog A Trip to Ireland, and kindly reviewed White Feathers in his latest entry. It’s a wonderful review and so cheering to read, very thorough (a lot of plot and story discussion, just a heads-up for those who have not read the book yet), and really examines the Irish angle, which for me tends to lurk at the back of everything when I write, rather than explicitly in the foreground. White Feathers is definitely not the typical Irish Novel, being about ninety years too early for Celtic Tiger angst and having no scenes set in Ireland, but the social tensions are there – as this paragraph of Rich’s review makes clear.

The atmosphere of deep concern for what others think, and suffocating conformity should be of great familiarity anyone who grew up in Ireland or particularly among Irish expat communities overseas. Even when Eva thinks she’s escaped her family by serving in France as a nurse, she discovers a cousin of her unloved husband [SL – actually of her unloved chaperone, but they’re both Irish anyway], who attempts to monitor and control her behavior, lest she bring shame on the family, and who keeps the family members back in Ireland and London informed of her behavior. It’s an accurate portrait of the worst of Irish clannishness and suspicion of outsiders and difference, an aspect that although younger generations appear to be shedding, remains all too near the surface. (Just look at the vitriol being slung right now over the marriage referendum.)

And he kindly adds near the end: “Lanigan writes very cinematically, which is to say that she excels at painting pictures of the action and cuts between visual images rather like a film director.” as well as proposing Miranda Hart’s voice as the right one for Sybil’s dialogue. I am going to have to re-read one of those scenes now and hear it in my head :)

Thank you Rich for a great review, most kind of you. Check out Rich’s blog here, especially if you are interested in all things Irish from abroad, or want to read more great reviews!

“Vivid, Immediate, Packing an Emotional Punch” – Review of White Feathers on A Trip to Ireland

The Water Diviner – Russell Crowe’s Gallipoli Film

TL-DR: It veered towards greatness, then lost its nerve (taking troubling historical liberties en route.)

ETA. Worth reading Athena Andreadis’s take on the film. She has a lot more skin in this game, and her account is a passionate (and convincing) indictment.

Continue reading “The Water Diviner – Russell Crowe’s Gallipoli Film”

The Water Diviner – Russell Crowe’s Gallipoli Film

Once I Wrote a Play about George Yeats and Her Husband

William Butler Yeats and Wife Georgie
W.B. and George Yeats – from http://yeatsthoorballylee.org/

I once wrote a play. Not only wrote, but directed and produced it, with help from quite a few of my classmates in my Master programme with clothes and props. This took place in 2002-3. It was a one-act play of 40 minutes duration, about W.B. Yeats’s disastrous honeymoon in Kent in 1917, and his new wife’s discovery that on that very occasion he was writing anguished love letters to Maud Gonne’s beautiful, fey daughter Iseult. I could relate very strongly to the bookish, awkward, overlooked Georgie, twenty-four to his fifty-two, and her feelings of rejection and pain when she realised she had been used as a rebound in response to an astrological imperative. “Georgie” she was called before he recast her as “George”, even making her alter her name. She kept him by her side, she diverted his interest by means of automatic writing, and later bore two of his children – but truly she made a bargain with the devil that night on his honeymoon when first she distracted him by grabbing a pen and going into a trance. Continue reading “Once I Wrote a Play about George Yeats and Her Husband”

Once I Wrote a Play about George Yeats and Her Husband

“A Bravura Performance of Effortless Elegance” – White Feathers Review in Irish Echo in Australia

White Feathers got ANOTHER review which was sent on to me by the publishers this morning and if you read it, you will see why I am grinning from ear to ear. Regrettably it is not available online, but I enclose an image of it below. Here is a bit I am really pleased got highlighted:

The second half of the book is a brutal account of some of the actions in the war, particularly the criminal incompetence of the top brass of the British army…[who] had also used their men as human fodder.

Why yes, my novel challenges authority. And even be it a hundred years back, on its publication and reading, it became clear that certain people – not the British Army, I hasten to add – didn’t like that. Certain people didn’t like that one bit.

And here’s a quote which made my morning :)

Though this is an intense love story it would do it a disservice to describe it solely in just a way. It is anti-war and anti-patriarchy without ever saying so …[and] leaves the reader genuinely hoping the author will take her characters through the next stages of their lives. For the second time in less than a year I applaud O’Brien Press for taking on a relatively unknown writer. Susan Lanigan has won praise for her short stories, but this is her first full-length novel. It is a bravura performance of effortless elegance that beautifully imitates the speech and manners of the era. More please.

Thank you very kindly, Frank O’Shea of the Irish Echo, Australia! I’ll do my best to keep ’em coming! Full review beneath the cut – fair warning, it’s an image file and also quite a bit of discussion of the plot, though less of the second half. Continue reading ““A Bravura Performance of Effortless Elegance” – White Feathers Review in Irish Echo in Australia”

“A Bravura Performance of Effortless Elegance” – White Feathers Review in Irish Echo in Australia