P&P Live! Caoilinn Hughes and Mona Awad [Rewatch ▷]

Caoilinn Hughes and Mona Awad

This event is part of our Irish Voices series where we highlight exceptional Irish literature in partnership with our friends at Politics & Prose, the Embassy of Ireland, and Georgetown Irish Studies.

Join P&P as we host authors Caoilinn Hughes and Mona Awad, discussing "The Wild Laughter" and "All's Well"!

This event took place on
Friday, October 1 • 7:00 PM

Rewatch the full discussion below | Runtime: 60 minutes

In The Wild Laughter, it's 2008, and the Celtic Tiger has left devastation in its wake. Brothers Hart and Cormac Black are waking up to a very different Ireland – one that widens the chasm between them and brings their beloved father to his knees. Facing a devastating choice that risks their livelihood, if not their lives, their biggest danger comes when there is nothing to lose.

A sharp snapshot of a family and a nation suddenly unmoored, this epic-in-miniature explores cowardice and sacrifice, faith rewarded and abandoned, the stories we tell ourselves and the ones we resist. Hilarious, poignant and utterly fresh, The Wild Laughter cements Caoilinn Hughes' position as one of Ireland's most audacious, nuanced and insightful young writers

In All’s Well, Miranda Fitch’s life is a waking nightmare. The accident that ended her burgeoning acting career left her with excruciating, chronic back pain, a failed marriage, and a deepening dependence on painkillers. And now she’s on the verge of losing her job as a college theater director. Determined to put on Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, the play that promised, and cost, her everything, she faces a mutinous cast hellbent on staging Macbeth instead. Miranda sees her chance at redemption slip through her fingers.

That’s when she meets three strange benefactors who have an eerie knowledge of Miranda’s past and a tantalizing promise for her future: one where the show goes on, her rebellious students get what’s coming to them, and the invisible, doubted pain that’s kept her from the spotlight is made known.

With prose Margaret Atwood has described as “no punches pulled, no hilarities dodged...genius,” Mona Awad has concocted her most potent, subversive novel yet. All’s Well is the story of a woman at her breaking point and a formidable, piercingly funny indictment of our collective refusal to witness and believe female pain.

Caoilinn Hughes is an Irish writer. Her latest novel, The Wild Laughter won the Royal Society of Literature's Encore Award. It was also shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards' Novel of the Year and RTÉ Radio 1 Listener's Choice Award 2020, the Dalkey Literary Awards, and was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her first novel Orchid and the Wasp (2018) won the Collyer Bristow Prize 2019, and was shortlisted for the Hearst Big Book Awards, the Butler Literary Award and longlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award and the International DUBLIN Literary Award. Her poetry collection, Gathering Evidence, won the Irish Times Strong/Shine Award. Her short fiction won The Moth Short Story Prize 2018, the An Post Irish Book Awards' Story of the Year 2020, and an O.Henry Prize in 2019. She is the 2021 Writer Fellow at Trinity College Dublin.

Mona Awad is the author of Bunny, named a Best Book of 2019 by TIME, Vogue, and the New York Public Library. It was a finalist for the New England Book Award and a Goodreads Choice Award. It is currently in development for film with Jenni Konner and New Regency Productions. Awad's first novel, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and winner of the Colorado Book Award and the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, TIME, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. She teaches fiction in the Creative Writing program at Syracuse University. Her new novel, All’s Well, has been named a best or most anticipated book of summer by Entertainment Weekly, O Magazine, Goodreads, and many more.

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