On Obsession: Belinda McKeon and Lisa Carey

Wednesday March 1, 2017
07:00 pm

Tags: Event







Multi-award winning author Belinda McKeon (Solace, Tender) was joined by Lambda Literary Award-winner Lisa Carey (Every Visible Thing, The Stolen Child) to discuss how their latest novels delve into obsessive desire, the relationship between sexuality and community, and writing unlikeable characters.


Presented in partnership with Irish Arts Center.



About Tender by Belinda McKeon: 

When they meet in Dublin in the late nineties, Catherine and James become close as two friends can be. She is a sheltered college student, he an adventurous, charismatic young artist. In a city brimming with possibilities, he spurs her to take life on with gusto. But as Catherine opens herself to new experiences, James's life becomes a prison; as changed as the new Ireland may be, it is still not a place in which he feels able to truly be himself. Catherine, grateful to James and worried for him, desperately wants to help -- but as time moves on, and as life begins to take the friends in different directions, she discovers that there is a perilously fine line between helping someone and hurting them further. When crisis hits, Catherine finds herself at the mercy of feelings she cannot control, leading her to jeopardize all she holds dear.


About The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey: 

May 1959. From one side of St. Brigid’s Island, the mountains of Connemara can be glimpsed on the distant mainland; from the other, the Atlantic stretches as far as the eye can see. This remote settlement, without electricity or even a harbor, has scarcely altered since its namesake saint set up a convent of stone huts centuries ago. Those who live there, including sisters Rose and Emer, are hardy and resourceful, dependent on the sea and each other for survival. Despite the island’s natural beauty, it is a place that people move away from, not to—until an outspoken American, also named Brigid, arrives to claim her late uncle’s cottage.

Brigid has come for more than an inheritance. She’s seeking a secret holy well that’s rumored to grant miracles. Emer, as scarred and wary as Rose is friendly and beautiful, has good reason to believe in inexplicable powers. Despite her own strange abilities—or perhaps because of them—Emer fears that she won’t be able to save her young son, Niall, from a growing threat. Yet Brigid has a gift too, even more remarkable than Emer’s. As months pass and Brigid carves out a place on the island and in the sisters’ lives, a complicated web of betrayal, fear, and desire culminates in one shocking night that will change the island, and its inhabitants, forever.



Belinda McKeon's first novel, Solace, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and the Sunday Independent Best Newcomer Award, and was named Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book of the Year in 2011, as well as being shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Her essays and journalism have appeared in the New York Times, the Paris Review, the Guardian and elsewhere. She grew up in the Irish midlands and now lives in New York. She teaches at Rutgers University. Tender is her second novel.


Lisa Carey grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, attended Boston College, worked at Brookline Booksmith, earned an MFA in Writing from Vermont College, and lived in Ireland for five years before returning to settle in Maine. Her first novel, The Mermaids Singing, was the lead title in the launching of Bard, a literary imprint of Avon Books. Avon Books then became William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, and her next three novels, In the Country of the Young, Love in the Asylum and Every Visible Thing, were published there. Every Visible Thing was the winner of a Lambda Literary Award for Fiction and the Ferro-Grumley Award for Fiction. Love in the Asylum was the Winner of a Massachusetts Book Award. She has been awarded fellowships at The Hawthornden Castle Writer’s Retreat, The Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, The MacDowell Colony, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Ragdale. She lives in Portland, Maine. The Stolen Child is her fifth novel.