Non-fiction books to look out for from Irish writers in 2021 #readingirelandmonth21

As I kick off the final week of what has felt like the fastest ever Reading Ireland Month, I’m looking specifically at Non-Fiction. Today I’m sharing some of the non-fiction titles coming this year from Irish writers.

Rememberings by Sinead O’Connor

Sandycove (Penguin Random House) June, 2021

Legendary singer Sinead O’Connor marked her 54th birthday last year by announcing the publication of Rememberings, her autobiography saying, “This is my story, as I remember it. I had great fun writing it over the past few years.”

Sandycove, who are publishing the book said,

In REMEMBERINGS, O’Connor recounts her painful tale of growing up in Dublin in a dysfunctional, abusive household. Inspired by her brother’s Bob Dylan records, she escaped into music. She relates her early years with local Irish bands, completing her first album while eight months pregnant and soaring to unimaginable popularity with her cover of Prince’s Nothing Compares 2U.

Never one to shy away from controversy throughout her life and career, this promises to be a raw and authentic read.

Corpsing: My Body and Other Horror Shows by Sophie White

Tramp Press, March 2021

Corpsing has just been published and will undoubtedly be another big hit for Tramp Press following their publication of A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ni Ghriofa and Notes to Self by Emilie Pine. Corpsing is already receiveing rave reviews and is billed as ‘Nora Ephron meets Bram Stoker’ which sounds intriguing!

In this non-fiction collection, White asks uncomfortable questions about the lived reality of womanhood in the 21st century, and the fear that must be internalised in order to find your path through it. White balances vivid storytelling with sharp-witted observations about the horrors of grief, mental illness, and the casual and sometimes hilarious cruelty of life.

Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? by Seamas O’Reilly

Little Brown, July 2021

Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? is Seamas O’Reilly’s memoir of growing up as one of eleven children in rural Northern Ireland in the 1990s after the death of their mother when Seamas was five. He delves into his family – his pleasingly eccentric, reticent but deeply loving father; his rambunctious siblings, intent on enforcing a byzantine age-based hierarchy; and the numerous bewildering friends, relations and neighbours who blew in and out to ‘help’. heartwarming and heartbreaking, this sounds like a wonderful memoir from O’Reilly who writes for the Observer and is something of a Twitter star!

A Furious Devotion: The Life of Shane McGowan by Richard Balls

Omnibus Press, October 2021

As the infamously hedonistic lead singer of The Pogues, The Popes and The Nips, Shane MacGowan encapsulates the rock ’n’ roll star lifestyle. While the story of The Pogues has been well-documented, the complete and extraordinary journey of their notorious frontman from outcast to national treasure, has never been told – until now.

Drawing on hours of exclusive interviews with Shane himself as well as his sister, father, wife and many other family members, friends and fellow musicians, such as Jem Finer and Sinéad O’Connor, this biography also includes a number of unseen personal photographs. 

What White People Can Do Next by Emma Dabiri

Irish-Nigerian author, academic and broadcaster Emma Dabiri will publish What White People Can Do Next: From Allyship to Coalition, a follow-up to her 2019 book Don’t Touch My Hair.

Don’t Touch My Hair looked at the discriminatory behaviour surrounding afro hair and uses historical context and personal anecdotes to dig into wider stigmatization in society.

Raised in Dublin for part of her life, Emma has hosted BBC Four’s Britain’s Lost Masterpieces, featured in a Channel 4 documentary Is Love Racist? and worked in various other broadcast roles.

The description of the new book reads,

“Stop the denial.

Abandon Guilt.

Interrogate capitalism.

When it comes to racial justice, how do we transform demonstrations of support into real and meaningful change? With intellectual rigour and razor-sharp wit, Emma Dabiri cuts through the haze of online discourse to offer clear advice.”

The Disconnect: A Personal Journey Through the Internet by Roisin Kiberd

Profile Books, March 2021

Another book that has just been published this month is The Disconnect which explores the thin line between online and real life. We all live online now and Roisin Kiberd knows this better than anyone having worked for tech startups and as the online voice of a cheese brand. She’s witnessed the bloated excesses of tech conferences and explored the strangest communities on the web. She has traced the ripples these hidden worlds have sent through our culture and politics, and experienced the disorienting effects on her own life.

In these interlinked essays, she illuminates the subject with fierce clarity, revealing the ways we are more connected than ever before, and the disconnect this breeds. From the lure of the endless scroll, to the glamour of self-optimisation; from the cult of Energy Drinks to the nostalgic world of Vaporwave music; and from silicon town centres to dating tech bros, Kiberd explores the strange worlds, habits and people that have grown with the internet. She asks what we have gained, what we have lost, and what we have given willingly away in exchange for this connected life.

Do any of these appeal? Let me know in the comments!

Ireland Month Irish Literature nonfiction

Cathy746books View All →

I am a 40 something book buying addict trying to reduce the backlog one book at a time!

21 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I’ve been looking at ‘Corpsing’ and wondering if I have the courage to read it, it may be a little too triggering for me, after reading a review this weekend, the ‘creepy’ fascination, the gore element, the experimenting. They are phases for some. If it offers understanding, perhaps.


  2. Ooh, Corpsing looks like it’s perfect for me! The only one here I’d heard of is The Disconnect, which would be interesting to compare with another book I’ve looked at recently, Born Digital.


  3. Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? has to be the most Irish title for a book ever, lol. I actually read it in the voice of Erin from Derry Girls. I’m going to see if I can get a copy, preferably in audio!


  4. I’ve got the Emma Dabiri on order, it’s a shame it’s published in April! And I don’t want to save it for next year’s Month as it’s too important to hold back a year!


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