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Dublin’s Influence on Nigerian Writer
Poet and playwright Inua Ellams, who moved to the Dublin suburb Firhouse with his family at 15, has revealed that his time in Ireland was significant and formative. “When I started school in Ireland, I was the only black boy in the entire school. Initially, it was difficult settling in, trying to find a place and dealing with the racism and the ignorance, more so than direct racism. But when I did I found a really close, tight-knit group of friends. Entirely, my career as a writer and as an artist came from that period.” He went on to say that the English teacher he had during his time in Firhouse Community College helped him accept himself. “My whole career as a writer came from the way he taught us English through rigour, the enthusiasm, and the joy he brought to dissecting poetry.”
His new show An Evening With an Immigrant will be performed on 20th May as part of the ILFD, and is described as a “funny, moving and often fantastical story includes his escape from fundamentalist Islam, directing an arts festival at Firhouse Community College, performing solo shows at the National Theatre, and having a drink with the Queen of England.”
Literary Clues to Twin Peaks Revival
Speaking of firs… As we all get ourselves in the Twin Peaks headspace once again (if you’ve ever left it), the internet is awash with articles with “what we know so far” about the new series. Which is, in terms of plot, very little. Novelist, screenwriter and Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost released The Secret History of Twin Peaks in 2016, a massive volume tracing the town’s beginnings which “deepens the mysteries of that iconic town in ways that not only enrich the original series but readies fans for the upcoming Showtime episodes.” The book is epistolary, taking the form of a dossier that is now in the possession of the FBI.
Fans have been poring over the book’s files and letters in the hopes of finding some lead on what’s in store for the upcoming season. Surprisingly, the most reliable morsel of information is found on a bookshelf – the bookshelf in the Bookhouse Boys’ clubhouse. “Good literature is a mirror through which we see ourselves more clearly,” the Archivist compiling the dossier notes. “It’s clear to see that the people of Twin Peaks have experienced many a twisting turn of fate.” Many readers picked up on the use of the roman numeral form of 1 being used when numbering the books in the photograph, drawing their attention to books I, 8 and II; the only numbers that “mirror” themselves. Those books are: Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72, The Official Report of the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy (any guesses as to which of the Bookhouse Boys chose that as his favourite book?) and Double Indemnity. Fear. The. Double. The dossier ends with the Archivist meeting with Agent Cooper and realising that something isn’t right with him (which fans of the show know is an understatement). Not only is it oddly satisfying finding out the favourite novels of some of the most beloved characters on the show, it seems to confirm that when the show returns to our screens, Cooper cannot be trusted.
The International Literature Festival Dublin kicks off on Saturday, 20th May, and runs until Monday 29th. You can find details and tickets here. The Wexford Literary Festival also takes place this weekend, running from Friday May 19 to Sunday May 21 in Enniscorthy. Guests include Donal Ryan and Tramp Press founders Sarah Davis-Croft and Lisa Coen. More information here.