Main content

Literary Landscape: John Banville and 1950s Dublin

Books news and features with Mariella Frostrup. John Banville takes Mariella on a tour of the foggy streets, smoke-filled bars and genteel hotel tea rooms of 1950s Dublin.

In a Literary Landscape special for Open Book, Irish author John Banville, aka crime writer Benjamin Black, takes Mariella Frostrup on a tour of the foggy streets, smoke-filled bars and genteel hotel tea rooms of 1950s Dublin.

Banville explains why he was drawn to the Fifties for his Quirke series of crime fiction and discusses some of the major writers from that period - J P Donleavy, Brendan Behan, Patrick Kavanagh and Mary Lavin. Together, he and Mariella visit some of the locations that feature in Benjamin Black's Quirke novels.

Presenter: Mariella Frostrup
Reader: Owen Roe
Producer: Emma Harding.

Available now

28 minutes

BOOKLIST

Writers mentioned in this week’s programme:

 

John Banville writing as Benjamin Black - Quirke novels (Christine Falls, Elegy for April, The Silver Swan, Holy Orders, A Death in Summer)

The Ginger Man by J P Donleavy

Happiness and Other Stories by Mary Lavin

Borstal Boy and Confessions of an Irish Rebel by Brendan Behan

Selected Poems by Patrick Kavanagh

Dead as Doornails: A Memoir by Antony Cronin

Remembering How we Stood: Bohemian Dublin at the Mid-Century by John Ryan

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Mariella Frostrup
Reader Owen Roe
Producer Emma Harding

Broadcasts

This Week's Book List

Read along with us - a list of books discussed in each programme

Books website

Get closer to books with in-depth articles, quizzes and our picks from radio & TV.

Close Reads

A collection of insights into what make great texts work