Kevin Barry: If the novel lacks innovation it's finished

His second novel, based on the true story of John Lennon's purchase of a tiny island in Clew Bay in the 1960s, has just won Irish writer Kevin Barry a major prize for literary innovation. He spoke to Jane Hardy

Sligo-based Irish novelist Kevin Barry Picture by Martina Kenji
LAST week Irish novelist Kevin Barry received the Goldsmiths Prize and pocketed the cheque for £10,000 that came with it. It's awarded annually to a novel that breaks the mould and extends the possibilities of fiction; Barry's second novel, Beatlebone, fits the citation like a biker's glove. The book involves a kind of fantasy road trip with John Lennon who travels to Dorinish Island, a getaway he bought in1967 off the west of Ireland, and on the way the star confronts some demons and tries to work out his identity. It mixes Lennon facts with imagined encounters and characters and has been d[...]

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