Interviewed by Sue Leonard.
Published by the Irish Examiner on 7th September
Beginner’s Pluck. Justin Quinn
Justin wrote his first poem at fifteen in order to get a girl. The girl has long gone, but Justin has written five poetry collections.
After college, he went to Prague for a year to teach English.
“Three days later I met the woman who became my wife.” He started work at Charles university in Prague, whilst finishing his PhD, and publishing his first poetry collection.
Still a lecturer, he returned, often, to Ireland, and was astounded at the changes brought about by the boom.
“A lot of my friends were suspicious and sickened by it. They knew it was unreal but they went along with it.”
Who is Justin Quinn?
Date of birth: 1968 in Dublin.
Education: Blackrock College. Trinity College Dublin, Modern English and Philosophy.
Family: Wife Tereza, sons Finbar, 15 and Manus, 8.
The Day Job: University of West Bohemia, lecturer in American and English Literature.
Interests: I love walking. I hill walk, and I’ll walk the breadth of a city.
Favourite Writers: Dickens, Galsworthy and Trollope. “And Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies is amazing.” Poets; Edward Thomas; Yeats; Heaney and Longley.
Second Novel: This novel has opened up Pandora’s box. I have ideas for three novels. I’m making notes on all three and seeing how they develop.
Top Writing Tip: Get up really early; don’t open your email; and look after your back.
Web. No. Twitter: @justinjquinn
The Debut: Mount Merrion. Penguin Ireland: €18.75. Kindle: €9.41
This expansive debut charts three generations of a professional Dublin family, from the fifties, until the height of the boom. Starting when Declan Boyle falls for Sinead, it takes us through their successes and struggles, before their journalist daughter Issie takes up the tale.
“I wanted to write a family saga. Driving in Ireland, I saw a way in. I wrote the plot the next morning, then wrote 30,000 words in two weeks. I researched in the evening and wrote all day long.”
The Verdict: An exquisite debut. Wide ranging, yet minutely detailed.
© Sue Leonard. 2013