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Ruth Gilligan in Conversation with Belinda McKeon
Thu, April 6, 2017, 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM EDT
Ruth Gilligan, the youngest writer ever to make the Irish bestseller list, will introduce her American debut Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan, which spans the twentieth century to tell the unknown story of the Jews in Ireland. She will be joined by Belinda McKeon (Tender and Solace) to discuss the power of storytelling, the challenges of novelizing the Irish experience, and more.
About Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan
"A boldly ambitious novel of family and belonging. . . . Wholly original, challenging, and tender at once.” —Kirkus, Starred Review
“Gilligan weaves a mesmerizing blend of plot and character while exploring themes of assimilation and displacement, suggesting what binds us all is storytelling.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"A wonderful new novel from a writer to look out for." —Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
At the start of the twentieth century, a young girl and her family emigrate from Lithuania in search of a better life in America, only to land on the Emerald Isle instead. In 1958, a mute Jewish boy locked away in a mental institution outside of Dublin forms an unlikely friendship with a man consumed by the story of the love he lost nearly two decades earlier. And in present-day London, an Irish journalist is forced to confront her conflicting notions of identity and family when her Jewish boyfriend asks her to make a true leap of faith. These three arcs, which span generations and intertwine in revelatory ways, come together to tell the haunting story of Ireland’s all-but-forgotten Jewish community. Ruth Gilligan’s beautiful and heartbreaking Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan explores the question of just how far we will go to understand who we really are, and to feel at home in the world.