The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland
Irish Authors You Should Know

An earlier version of this post was first featured on our blog on March 16, 2019. See below for new-on-audio releases.

This month we’re paying homage to a host of Irish authors who contribute to culture in a big way. From techno-thrillers to sweeping romances to personal family histories, there’s plenty of luck to be found for us all in these audiobooks.

Patrick Radden Keefe’s mesmerizing account of the bitter conflict in Northern Ireland and its aftermath uses the McConville abduction case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with.

“[Matthew] Blaney’s sober voice is measured and careful, highlighting the subject matter even as he delivers a powerful performance.”—AudioFile

Author: Colum McCann
Read By: Colum McCann

Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their lives. But their lives, however circumscribed, are upended one after the other: first, Rami’s thirteen-year-old daughter, Smadar, becomes the victim of suicide bombers; a decade later, Bassam’s ten-year-old daughter, Abir, is killed by a rubber bullet. Rami and Bassam had been raised to hate one another. And yet, when they learn of each other’s stories, they recognize the loss that connects them.

Maeve Higgins was a bestselling author and comedian in her native Ireland when, at the grand old age of thirty-one, she left the only home she’d ever known in search of something more and found herself in New York City. Together, the essays in Maeve in America create a smart, funny, and revealing portrait of a woman who aims for the stars but sometimes hits the ceiling and the inimitable city that helped make her who she is.

“Wickedly funny…with incisive humor and deep humility…Higgins has the rare gift of being able to meaningfully engage with politics and social ills while remaining legitimately funny.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Eithne Shortall is the Arts correspondent for the Sunday Times Ireland and has worked as a TV and radio presenter in Ireland. Her debut audiobook Grace After Henry is a heartwarming tale about grief, lost love, and second chances. Perfect for fans of PS, I Love You and Jojo Moyes.

“A winning debut.”—The New Yorker

Read by the author! In this dazzling debut audiobook, award-winning Irish writer Caoilinn Hughes introduces a heroine of mythic proportions in the form of one Gael Foess. A tough, thoughtful, and savvy opportunist, Gael is determined to live life on her own terms amidst economic and familial collapse.

Michael Brendan Dougherty is a senior editor at National Review and was formerly an editor at The Week. The child of an Irish father and an Irish-American mother who separated soon after he was born, Dougherty grew up with an acute sense of absence. He loved his mother but longed for his father, who only occasionally returned from Ireland for visits. He began writing letters to his father about what he remembered and what he missed, realizing along the way that his longings were shared by many of his generation. Those letters became this audiobook, read by the author.

Author: Sally Rooney
Read By: Aoife McMahon

Sally Rooney was born in the west of Ireland in 1991 and is the editor of the Irish literary journal The Stinging Fly and winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award (2017). She brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship.

Read by award-winning narrator Jayne Entwistle, Becoming Belle is a witty novel about passion and marriage based on the true story of an unstoppable woman ahead of her time in Victorian London. In 1887, Isabel Bilton, the eldest of three daughters of a middle-class military family, is growing up in a small garrison town. By 1891 she is the Countess of Clancarty, dubbed “the peasant countess” by the press, and a member of the Irish aristocracy. Becoming Belle is the story of the four years in between, of Belle’s rapid ascent and the people who tried to tear her down.

Connect is a thrillingly smart novel of ideas that explores what connection—both human and otherwise—might become in a digital age. It is a story of mothers and sons; but it is also about you, your phone, and the future.

“Read Connect by the absurdly brilliant Julian Gough—a mind-expanding techno-thriller with a hotly beating human heart.”
—Emma Donoghue, New York Times bestselling author of Room

Like what you hear? Check out more listens from Irish authors here.