Darragh Martin is a novelist and playwright. His first novel for adults, Future Popes of Ireland (Harper Collins: 2018) was short-listed for Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards and long-listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize. The Keeper (Little Island: 2013), his novel for children, was short-listed for Children’s Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. His other work includes An Air Balloon across Antarctica (Edinburgh, Adelaide, and Melbourne Fringe Festivals), Why Pluto is a Planet (Samuel French Festival, New York), The Map of Lost Things (First Irish Festival, New York), and commissions from the Free Word Centre, IBBY Ireland, and Durham University. Originally from Dublin, Darragh currently lives in London where he teaches creative writing at Birbeck College.
Justyna Cwojdzińska talks to Darragh about his inspirations, his novel “Future Popes of Ireland” that was recently translated into Polish as well as how much Ireland has changed since John Paul II’s visit. The book starts with that landmarking event in Irish history, which greatly influenced the main characters in the novel. After the famous visit of John Paul II to Phoenix Park in 1979, triplets are born, one of whom is named after the pope, John Paul, and in whom all hopes are placed to sit on the papal throne in the future. Will it really be so? Will it be the papal throne? And what stories are the Doyle family hiding?
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