BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture

Led by James Naughtie, a group of readers talk to acclaimed authors about their best-known novels


Anne Enright - The Gathering

April 1st, 2012

Episode 336 of 438 episodes

Anne Enright talks to James Naughtie and readers about her 2007 Man Booker prize-winning novel The Gathering. The book was the surprise win of that year - beating Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach. Chair of Judges Howard Davies proclaimed the novel had one of the best closing sentences of any he had ever read. The Gathering of the title is the wake of Liam Hegarty who has committed suicide by walking into the sea at Brighton. His sister Veronica, one of the remaining nine siblings, narrates. In an exploration of uncertainty and recollection, she imagines the lives and thoughts of her grandparents' generation, and the hazy memories from her own childhood. And as family gather for the funeral, this big, brawling Irish family's history begins to spill out and show its cracks. Anne will be talking to her readers about the darkness in the novel, but also about how the Gathering provides the consolation of humour even in the grimmest situations - such as the scene where the family guard Liam's open coffin in Dublin. May's Bookclub choice : God's Own Country by Ross Raisin Up coming recordings - ELIZABETH TAYLOR - MRS PALFREY AT THE CLAREMONT DAVID BADDIEL WILL BE OUR GUIDE TO THIS NOVEL Monday 28 May 5.40pm BBC Bush House Aldwych London WC2 4PH To apply for tickets, go to the BBC Radio 4 website and follow the links to Bookclub Producer : Dymphna Flynn.

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