herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Barrytown books still relevant - Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle and City Librarian, Margaret Hayes pictured in a chip van at the Rotunda Hospital (the birth place of The Snapper) for the launch of the One City One Book 2015 programme
Roddy Doyle and City Librarian, Margaret Hayes pictured in a chip van at the Rotunda Hospital (the birth place of The Snapper) for the launch of the One City One Book 2015 programme

HE HAS written some of Ireland's best-loved books, but legendary author Roddy Doyle has admitted after close to 30 years of writing, he still gets "anxious" when it comes to putting pen to paper.

The Dublin writer (56) was at the Rotunda Hospital yesterday to launch the One City One Book initiative, after his collection of stories, The Barrytown Trilogy, was named as this year's selection.

Unveiling a plaque at the hospital to honour the birthplace of his 1990 classic The Snapper, Roddy admitted that he still gets nervous when it comes to writing.

"I'm still anxious when I work - that's an important tool in any writer's life," he told the Herald. "If you're not anxious, it's probably crap that you're writing."

The iconic writer joins the ranks of literary greats such as James Joyce and Oscar Wilde as the Barrytown Trilogy - which comprises The Commitments, The Snapper and The Van - was chosen for the 10th anniversary of the One City One Book campaign.

Despite the fact it's been close to 30 years since his first book hit the shelves, the author believes the stories are as relevant as ever.

Unemployed

"People still get pregnant, people are still unemployed, people still form bands, and they still talk much the same way that they used to," he said. "The city has changed but it's still the same place."

Roddy revealed his admiration for Mrs Brown's Boys star Brendan O'Carroll (left), who appeared in the 1996 film adaptation of The Van.

"I thought he was brilliant, just as company. I had no doubt whatsoever that his career was going to be huge," he said.

hnews@herald.ie

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