Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin: Irish language is an art

Photo: HeadRead

Throughout July, ERR's Culture portal will share discussions with writers from this year's HeadRead Literary Festival, which takes place annually in Tallinn and attracts top talent from around the world.

Through his work, Irish author, journalist, screenwriter and musician Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin aims to preserve Irish language and culture. His debut novel, "Madame Lazare," was one of the five finalists for the 2013 European Prize for Literature. Estonia also plays an important role in the novel, because the titular character Hana Lazare left Estonia to flee the Holocaust as a young woman – although this is only part of the truth. Living in Paris in her old age, Hana begins to succumb to dementia and her grandchild Levana begins to record her curious statements. 

Sinéad Mac Aodha, director of Literature Ireland, speaks with the author.

Watch the discussion, in English with Estonian subtitles, above. 

Mac Dhonnagáin became known in 1984 as the presenter of the children's programme Dilin ó Deamhas on RTÉ television. One of his best known works, Mise Raiftearaí: An Fíodóir Focal, published in 2015, is a biography of the 19th-century poet and songwriter Antoine Ó Raiftearaí. Dhonnagáin composes and writes both for children and adults.

The HeadRead literary festival took place from May 24 to May 29. Over the course of five days, around 4,500 people visited the primary venue Writers' Union. The festival also took place in the Estonian Children's Literature Center, the Tallinn Central Library, Ait, Kellertheatre and KuKu Club.

In total, 11 author interviews recorded during the festival will be published on the Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) platform Jupiter, which is free for European viewers, and will be made available to the international audience via ERR's portals.

The series feature conversations between Mikhail Shishkin and Harri Tiido, Kristina Sabaliauskaitė and Linda Kaljundi, Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin and Sinéad Mac Aodha, Eero Epner and Maarja Undusk, Elin Cullhed and Eia Uus, Kate Mosse and Elisa Johanna Liiv, Andri Snær Magnason and Maarja Merivoo-Parro, Lilli Luuk and Carolina Pihelgas, Jussi Adler-Olsen and Krõõt Kaljusto-Munck, and Monique Roffey and Kaisa Ling, Anthony Horowitz and Jason Goodwin.

HeadRead. Source: Dmitri Kotjuh


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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