John Banville is Subject of Latest Book by NUI Galway Scholar
Friday, 28 November 2008
One of the major writers of contemporary Irish fiction, John Banville, is the subject of a new book by NUI Galway's Dr John Kenny. Entitled John Banville, the book is an accessible yet detailed study that brings to the surface many of the hidden depths of the Man-Booker Prize-winning novelist. With a close eye on chronology, the book begins by establishing the intellectual and cultural contexts of Banville's writing and its reception among readers. It then provides insights into Banville's Irish themes, his crucial theories of the imagination, his preoccupation with morality and immorality, and his idiosyncratic devotion to a self-reflexive art. The book touches on all of Banville's work, from his first book, Long Lankin (1970) to his Man-Booker winning novel, The Sea (2005), and his recent popular fiction written under the pseudonym Benjamin Black. A native of Glenamaddy, Co. Galway, Dr John Kenny lectures in the English Department at NUI Galway where he is Director of the new BA with Creative Writing. For Dr Kenny, Banville is a rich source of insight into creative writing: "For anyone who has read the words 'They departed, the gods, on the day of the strange tide' and then delved further into The Sea, they know the lyrical and emotive strength of Banville's writing". He added: "For this book, I have researched his literary archive and it is a model lesson in the creative process. In the multiple drafts of his novels we can see the way discipline and inventiveness are combined in one of Ireland's great exponents of the imagination. His work is testament to the powerful ways in which dedicated artists of the word can make created worlds come vividly alive on the page". Dr Kenny is also an Academic Director of the John McGahern International Seminar and Summer School and founding editor of The John McGahern Yearbook. He is currently working on a second book on Banville and on a study of Patrick McCabe's fiction. John Banville is published as part of a major new series on Irish writers from Irish Academic Press.