I enjoy the money but not the writing, confesses top author

02 Mar 2009

One of the world’s most respected authors has revealed how he sees writing as a compulsion in a candid interview with the online arts journal The Manchester Review.

Colm Toibin
Colm Toibin

Fans of Irish novelist Colm Toibin will be able to read the rare interview in the Review’s second edition when it goes live on March 2 at http://www.themanchesterreview.co.uk.

The Manchester Review is published by The University of Manchester’s Centre for New Writing, home to leading literary figures including Professor of Creative Writing Martin Amis.

The question and answer style article with fellow novelist M.J. Hyland – a creative writing lecturer at The University of Manchester – captures Toibin’s wit and frankness.

When she asked the author: “Which of your books did you most enjoy writing?” he answered: “No enjoyment. No, none.”

And in response to her question: “What do you enjoy most about your life as a writer?” he answered: “The money. I never knew there would be money.”

The acclaimed author, who has published six novels, a book of stories and more than 10 works of non-fiction describes why he is driven to write.

M.J. Hyland, who herself is a Booker Prize shortlisted author said: “The interview with Colm Toibin was candid, unusually frank, and often amusing.

“Toibin's wit and honesty combine to make for a sharp and engaging read.”

Also appearing in The Manchester Review is an exclusive short story by prolific novelist, poet, and first winner of the Orange Prize Helen Dunmore called The White Horse.

Manchester-based US poet Linda Chase publishes two new poems and other contributions include an essay by novelist Amit Chaudhuri and two poems by Sean O'Brien.

Linda Chase said: "I feel that it is very important for universities to have a public  arena like the Centre for New Writing, through which they become part  of the literary life of the whole city.

“Now, through The Manchester Review, the excellence that the Centre exhibits in its public debates  and readings can be spread nationally and internationally."

The Manchester Review appears each spring and autumn offering a mix of new music, public debate, visual art and video as well as fiction and poetry.

It is edited by the Centre's co-directors John McAuliffe and Ian McGuire.

John McAuliffe said: "The Manchester Review takes its cue from the proactive promotion of new writing, but uses online media to show and sponsor the interplay of poetry, fiction, music, visual art and essays by new and established practitioners.”

"It is already finding new readers and audiences for exciting and innovative creative work, which is steeped in traditional virtues.”

Notes for editors

John McAuliffe, M.J. Hyland, Linda Chase and Helen Dunmore are available for interview.

A preview web address of The Manchester Review’s second edition is available.

Images are available of the contributors.

For media enquiries contact:

Mike Addelman
Media Relations Officer
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
0161 275 0790
07717 881 567