Salon Series: A Conversation with Writer William Wall
May 3, 2018
NYU Washington, DC, the Embassy of Ireland, and the EU Delegation European Month of Culture presented acclaimed author William Wall.
William Wall is the 2017 winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize for his short story collection, The Islands: Six Fictions, chosen by David Gates. He is the author of two additional short story collections; four novels, with two forthcoming in 2018 and 2019; and four poetry collections.
Wall has also won the Doolin Prize for poetry, Virginia Faulkner Award, the Sean O’Faoláin Prize, several Writer’s Week prizes, and the Patrick Kavanagh Award. Wall was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Manchester Fiction Prize. He was shortlisted for the Young Minds Book Award, the Irish Book Awards, the Raymond Carver Award, the Hennessy Award and several others.
Wall has received Irish Arts Council Bursaries, travel grants from Culture Ireland and translations of his books have been funded by Ireland Literature Exchange. He has received public commissions. His work has been translated into many languages, including Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Latvian, Serbian and Catalan.
He has a particular interest in Italy and has read at several festivals there, including the Tratti Festival at Faenza, the Festival Internationale di Poesia di Genova, and at the Pordenone Legge festival near Venice. Wall translates from Italian. He has co-presented workshops in translation. In 2014, Wall was part of the Italo-Irish Literature Exchange, which gave readings at various places in Italy, including Sant Agata de Got, Rome, Lugo di Romagna and Bologna.
A native of Cork, Ireland, where he now resides with his wife, Liz Kirwan, Wall grew up in the coastal village of Whitegate. He received degrees in philosophy and English from University College Cork.
The NYU Washington, DC Salon Series: Conversations with Writers & Artists offers an opportunity for the NYU and Washington, DC community to meet and engage in dialogue with acclaimed writers and artists as they reflect on their craft. This program provides facilitated conversations that aim to illuminate the guests’ creative processes, discuss their current works, and explain the impact of their work on the world around us.
John P. Waters is Clinical Assistant Professor In Irish Studies at New York University in the College of Arts and Sciences. He will act as interlocutor for this dialogue with William Wall.
The Islands: Six Fictions
In this collection of interconnected stories, the beautiful and ravaging forces of sea and land collide with the forces of human nature, through isolation and family, love and loss, madness and revelation. The stories follow the lives of two sisters and the people who come and go in their lives, much like the tides.
Dominated by the tragic loss of a third sister at a young age, their family spirals out of control. We witness three stages of the sisters’ lives, each taking place on an island—in southwest Ireland, southern England, and the Bay of Naples. Beautifully and sparsely written, the stories in The Islands deeply evoke landscape and character, and are suffused with a keen eye for detail and metaphor.
William Wall is the author of four novels, three collections of poetry, and two previous volumes of short fiction. His work has won many prizes, including the Virginia Faulkner Award, the Patrick Kavanagh Award, and the Sean O’Faolain Prize. He has been short- or longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Irish Book Awards, the Raymond Carver Prize, and the Manchester Fiction Prize, among others. His work has been translated into many languages, and he translates from Italian.