A Diary of Doneraile: Paul Soye and The Boy In The Gap

Paul Soye reading from The Boy In The Gap
The second Liberties Press event at the Doneraile Literary & Arts Festival was with Paul Soye featuring his debut novel The Boy In The Gap. Paul's event was the finale to a wonderful evening in Creagh Castle and well worth the wait.

I began proceedings by welcoming the crowd that had gathered and handing over, with great delight, to Paul himself. Paul said a few words before reading from The Boy In The Gap, sharing how he was struck by Michael D.'s words earlier that day when he warned against radical individualism that erodes all sense of community and social responsibility. He correctly drew a parallel with The Boy In The Gap, in which we see Jack Sammon lost within his own community and, in a sense left to his own devices, makes choices that lead him to where he is at the beginning of the novel: 'I remember the first night 'on remand' watching the news'.

Paul with actors Orlaith and Stephen toasting a wonderful
Paul then treated the audience to a reading from his novel, which you can watch and listen to here, before handing over to Orlaith and Stephen.

This was the 'reading with a difference' that had been promised as actors Orlaith and Stephen carried out a stage reading of The Boy In The Gap. Stephen played Jack Sammon while Orlaith played Alice, his wife. The scene was set by Jack opening a letter from Alice and as he read, with Alice's voice coming in and out, we began to get a sense of the complexity of both Jack as a character and The Boy In The Gap as a novel. There are no quick fixes or ready-made redemptions for Jack and as the scene closes you find you still don't know what to do with him but can't bring yourself to fully blame or condemn him. The stage readings can be watched and listened to here and here. [Our apologies for the small amount of recording missing in between Part 1 and 2; there was so much to record at Doneraile we failed to notice how low our memory was. However, we got most of it so enjoy!]
Orlaith and Stephen signing copies

Paul signing copies
The evening ended with Paul signing some copies of the book. Orlaith and Stephen, who helped make the night great, signed some copies too. Afterward, we all headed to the pub for another Live Mic Impromptu Poetry, Songs and Storytelling with Mattie Lennon! And of course to toast the wonderful Paul Soye and the brilliant The Boy In The Gap.