Advertisement
Books

Top 5 books by contemporary Northern Irish writers

From Trespasses to Dance Move, Northern Irish native Elaine Canning selects some great novels from her home country

Belfast-born novelist Elaine Canning, author of The Sandstone City, chooses her favourite books by contemporary Northern Irish writers.

1. Travelling in a Strange Land by David Park

An intensely moving, mesmerising novel about a father’s road trip from Belfast to Sunderland to bring his sick son home. Memories, imaginings, guilt and heartache swerve and brake in evocative prose. 

2. The Fire Starters by Jan Carson

A wondrous and thrilling depiction of a city on fire and the sacrifice and struggles of the people who inhabit it, this dark, magical novel burns bright long after its final pages have been consumed.

3. Trespasses by Louise Kennedy

Set in 1970s Belfast against the backdrop of The Troubles, this is a beautifully observed, perfectly paced, heart-wrenching novel about love, loyalty, suffering and survival. An exquisite, devastating read.

4. Intimacies by Lucy Caldwell

This breathtaking collection of short stories on the lives of young women beats with honesty and empathy. Includes the 2021 BBC National Short Story Award-winning All the People Were Mean and Bad and ends with the stunning title story.

5. Dance Move by Wendy Erskine

A brilliant collection of stories brimming with humour, energy and tenderness. From Roberta and the child in the opening story Mathematics, to Linda and Rae in Secrets Bonita Beach Krystal Cancun, Erskine’s characters, young and old, will cling to your heart in storytelling at its finest. 

Advertisement
Advertisement
Elaine Canning’s The Sandstone City

You can buy The Sandstone City from The Big Issue shop on bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine. If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member.You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

Advertisement

Every copy counts this Winter

Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Winter. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Winter.

Recommended for you

Read All
Top 5 books to teach children about the Holocaust, chosen by Jeremy Dronfield
history

Top 5 books to teach children about the Holocaust, chosen by Jeremy Dronfield

Really Good, Actually review: 'A much-needed breath of fresh air'
unromantic comedy

Really Good, Actually review: 'A much-needed breath of fresh air'

Kick the Latch review: A unique insight into the secret world of equestrian sport
novel

Kick the Latch review: A unique insight into the secret world of equestrian sport

When the Muppets went to Moscow: 'It was incredibly difficult, but also dangerous'
post-communism

When the Muppets went to Moscow: 'It was incredibly difficult, but also dangerous'

Most Popular

Read All
Lauren Layfield: 'Normal men, innocent men' and me
1.

Lauren Layfield: 'Normal men, innocent men' and me

Here's when people will get the next cost of living payment in 2023
2.

Here's when people will get the next cost of living payment in 2023

Where to find grants for furniture and carpets in 2023
3.

Where to find grants for furniture and carpets in 2023

Scotland aims to cut car use by creating '20-minute neighbourhoods' in net zero push
4.

Scotland aims to cut car use by creating '20-minute neighbourhoods' in net zero push