Read Irish Women Challenge 2022 by Karina Clifford

#ReadIrishWomenChallenge22 #RIWC22

It’s April so I’m back once again with the Read Irish Women Challenge – the month where we celebrate outstanding books by Irish women. Starting on April 1st, there will be a different prompt for each day of the month – for instance on April 5th the prompt is “a book with something that flies on the cover” – I’m looking forward to see how much fun fellow readers have with that one! Dedicating April to discussing and discovering titles new and old is always thrilling.

If you would like to join the discussion, use the hashtag #ReadIrishWomenChallenge22 and/or #RIWC22. Lively and entertaining book chats take place on Twitter and Instagram and this year the challenge makes its debut on TikTok, so please do join in and share your response to the reading challenge prompts!

The #ReadIrishWomenChallenge22 is supported by Dubray Books, so do check your local Dubray store to see what the staff have chosen for that day’s prompts. The Dubray website will also have lots of features of and by Irish women writers this month, so stay tuned!

The list of upcoming books by Irish women this spring is so exciting; the titles just in and due in are incredible. The backlist of books by Irish women is also truly stellar and it is a perfect opportunity to recommend and discover a “book you feel is an underrated gem”.

During the last two years many books suffered by being published during lockdown – no launch parties! no celebratory cake & crowds!  – so it would be great to give them their overdue moment in the spotlight.

At the moment the world seems grimmer by the day, so one of the prompts reminds us of a “book that makes you feel hopeful”. But because we can’t ignore the turmoil going on, there is this prompt too; a “book set during a time of conflict”.

The impact over the last year, especially on women, of being on the receiving end of violence has been tremendous – something that felt so visceral that I couldn’t ignore it when compiling this list. That is why one of the prompts is a “book featuring women dealing with violence”. 

Irish women are having necessary discussions about the hurts suffered personally and on a societal level from both individuals and institutions, and there are many books on the subject that are vitally important and worth sharing.

There are so many Irish women that I admire greatly, both fictional and in real life, so I’ll tell you about a “book with a character you wish you knew in real life” if you tell me yours!

Finally, as the eldest of three sisters from a family full of women, I want to hear about your favourite “book with sisters” and revel in their loving yet complex relationships.

I look forward to chatting with readers on social media and in store in Dubray!

Karina has been a bookworm forever and her formative childhood reads were The Bookshop on the Quay by Patricia Lynch and Alice Through the Looking Glass By Lewis Carroll, which may or may not explain a great deal... Natural habitat is a bookshop, happily enough; may also be found writing about books on Instagram @bookaneer808.

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