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Meet the Author: Orla McAlinden

The Embassy of Ireland is delighted to invite you to our first online author event with Orla McAlinden.

Join us on Wednesday 21 October (18:00 – 19:00 Brussels time) for a special Meet the Author Book Club event with the award-winning Irish writer Orla McAlinden to explore her novel “The Flight of the Wren”, published in 2018, winner of the Cecil Day Lewis award 2016 and joint winner of the Greenbean Novel Fair 2016 at the Irish Writers Centre.

Inspired by true events, the tales of real Irish women and girls weave throughout this poignant blend of fact and fiction. The Flight of the Wren explores the impact of the Irish famine of 1845-1849 on the women of Ireland. Acts of desperation, betrayal, courage and love illuminate this dark chapter of Ireland’s history in a complex and beautiful novel. 

“The past comes vividly to life in the hands of this confident story-teller”… Martina Devlin

How to attend

The event will take place using Zoom. Register to attend here.


About Orla McAlinden

Orla McAlinden is a Pushcart Prize nominee, the Cecil Day Lewis emerging writer 2016, the winner of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Irish Short Story of the Year 2016 award, the Eludia award 2014, shortlisted for the An Post Irish Short Story of the Year 2019, and numerous other awards and short-listings.

Her short stories and non-fiction have been published in outlets such as The Fish Anthology, The Chattahoochee Review, Wasafiri Online, A New Ulster, and The Honest Ulsterman.

Her debut novel, The Flight of the Wren (Red Stag/Mentor Books, Dublin) won the Cecil Day Lewis award and the Greenbean Novel Fair competition in 2016, and was published in September 2018. The novel examines the lives of real and imagined Irish women during the Irish Famine and their struggles to survive through prostitution and crime. The Flight of the Wren has been featured in the Sunday Times (Ireland) Magazine, and on RTÉ and BBC Radio.

Her award-winning short story collections The Accidental Wife and Full of Grace explore the complexities of rural life in Northern Ireland before, during and after the Troubles.

The Accidental Wife was the chosen text for the inaugural Armagh Big Read, a public reading initiative hosted by Libraries NI. In July 2017 The Accidental Wife was the BBC Radio Ulster Nolan Show book club choice.

Orla McAlinden online

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