‘Mary Lavin Place’ is just a stone’s throw from the mews in Lad Lane where she held many a literary gathering. “She turned Dublin of the Sixties into our Paris,” wrote Frank Phelan, who was befriended by Mary as a young American priest living in Dublin. “It was a great continuing feast for us, around Mary Lavin’s table.”
“Grandmother’s voice – which I hear in my mind as rich and deep and assured – was only considered quiet because it was a woman’s. Women’s lives were not considered to be of general interest in Ireland until Gay Byrne started talking about them on the radio in the 1970s, but women were writing about their lives all along….”
“It had always been Eva’s intention to go back to the city where she had spent a single, disproportionately dense year as a young woman, but somehow or other a quarter of a century had passed, and she had not done so…..”
In February of 2016, Kathleen travelled to Nicaragua with her father. They lived there as a family forty years ago, but had never been back since.
In this piece for ‘The Irish Times,’ Kathleen wrote about their personal journey into the past, and the political realities of present day Nicaragua.
“The idea for a novel arrives with its own energy. Maybe it HAS to generate its own energy, if it’s to power itself to completion. Like a skier who has to build up speed on the downhill to make it to the other side of a valley, the novel has to come in with a whoosh if it’s going to make the distance. But the short story travels cross country and without dramatics, powered entirely by me….