Film, TV & Theatre
Paul Murray was born in Dublin in 1975. He was educated at Trinity College Dublin and took a master's degree in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. A former bookseller, Murray lives in Dublin.
His first novel, AN EVENING OF LONG GOODBYES, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize, and nominated for The Kerry Irish Fiction Award. Paul's second novel is SKIPPY DIES, which was longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize as well as shortlisted for the Costa Novel Prize and the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. It was also shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Book Award.
Despite being Irish, Paul was named one of Britain's 20 Best Novelists Under 40 by the Daily Telegraph.
THE MARK AND THE VOID
UK: Hamish Hamilton; US: FSG
What links the Investment Bank of Torabundo, www.myhotswaitress.com (yes, hots with an s, don’t ask), an art heist, a novel called For the Love of a Clown, a four-year-old boy named after TV detective Remington Steele, a lonely French banker, a tiny Pacific island, and a pest control business run by an ex-KGB man? You guessed it . . . THE MARK AND THE VOID is Paul Murray’s madcap new novel of institutional folly, following the success of his wildly original breakout hit, Skippy Dies. While marooned at his banking job in the bewilderingly damp and insular realm known as Ireland, Claude Martingale is approached by a down-on-his-luck author, Paul, looking for his next great subject. Claude finds that his life gets steadily more exciting under Paul’s fictionalizing influence; he even falls in love with a beautiful waitress. But Paul’s plan is not what it seems—and neither is Claude’s employer, the Bank of Torabundo, which inflates through dodgy takeovers and derivatives-trading until—well, you can probably guess how that shakes out. THE MARK AND THE VOID is a stirring examination of the deceptions carried out in the names of art, love and commerce – and is also probably the funniest novel ever written about a financial crisis.
UK: Hamish Hamilton; US: Faber & Faber; Dutch: Signatuur; German: Kunstmann; Italian: ISBN; Korean: Minumsa; Norwegian: Gyldenda
Ruprecht Van Doren and his roommate Daniel ‘Skippy’ Juster are probably the two biggest losers in Seabrook College for Boys. Ruprecht is an overweight genius whose hobbies include very difficult maths and the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence. Skippy is on the swimming team, but mostly likes to play Nintendo – that is, until he falls for Lori, the Frisbee-playing Siren from the girls’ school next door. Nobody thinks he has a chance, especially since his rival happens to be Carl, the sinister school drug-dealer. But some losers don’t know when to quit, and while Ruprecht attempts to open a portal into a parallel universe, Skippy, in the name of love, is rapidly heading towards a showdown in the form of a doughnut-eating race that only one person will survive… Hilarious and heartbreaking as a tragic SOUTH PARK, with an educational programme of its own that ranges from mermaids to M-theory to the real meaning of the poems of Robert Frost, SKIPPY DIES captures in painful detail the humiliations and joys of being thirteen in a world that craves youth but can’t stand the young.
AN EVENING OF LONG GOODBYES
UK: Hamish Hamilton; US: Random House; German: Antje Kunstmann; Italian: ISBN
Charles Hythloday doesn’t ask much from life. All he wants is to be left in peace to watch the lunchtime movie on TV and slowly drink his way through his inheritance, safely within the confines of Amaurot, his ancestral home outside Dublin. Life, however, has other ideas. First there’s Mrs P, the help, who seems to be having some sort of mental episode. Then there’s his younger sister Bel, struggling actress and hopeless romantic, who keeps bringing home the most unsuitable men. When van-driving lowlife Frank arrives on the scene, and the furniture simultaneously begins to go missing, Charles is forced to take action. To save the house from Frank, and Bel from herself, he ventures into the hated real world – a world of cruelty, deceit, greyhound racing and community theatre, where people have to work for a living and nothing, not even death, is what it seems … An epic comedy with an elegiac slant, AN EVENING OF LONG GOODBYES presents Charles and Bel’s struggle to find their way in the world without losing themselves, each other, the things they hold dear.