In 2010 Dublin was named one of UNESCO’s Cities of Literature (of only five) which is hardly surprising given the rich literary scene, both past and present.
Each year in April, the city holds One City One Book, a festival during which they encourage everyone to read the same book and they hold events to celebrate that book and author. This year the book is Dubliners by James Joyce. This collection of early short stories is by far his most readable work and gives a great insight into the characters of Dublin.
This year (on February 2nd to be exact) was the 130th anniversary of Joyce’s birth, so the city celebrated, even though Joyce spent most of his life in Europe, in France and Italy, eventually dying in Switzerland. Dubliners was first published in 1914, 2 years after the author last visited Ireland.
On Friday, April 13th at the National Concert Hall, there will be an event Celebrating Dubliners. Other events will be held across the libraries of Dublin including readers, discussion etc. But even if you are not the bookish type or that interested in spending your time in libraries while in Dublin, I recommend reading Dubliners. It’s my bet that people in pubs throughout the city will also be discussing the book and James Joyce throughout April – not that they don’t already. Dublin is after all a literary type of town and James Joyce is one of their most famous sons.