Reading Rites

Books, writing and other things that matter

‘Evelyn Conlon’s voice is instantly recognisable: wise, funny, insightful (inciteful, if that’s a word) and irrepressible.’ -Lia Mills

In Reading Rites, Evelyn Conlon brings her characteristic wit and keen intelligence to the task of exploring her writing life, drawing out the events, people, books and concerns that have helped to make her the writer she is.

Using the lens of her own life as a starting point, she considers a vast array of subjects, including education; the effects of the Catholic Church, particularly on the lives of women; the legacy of historical moments such as 1916; and, through it all, the power of books to free us, to offer understanding, and to help us to see outside and beyond ourselves.

Part memoir, part manifesto, Reading Rites is full of the sharp observation, restless questioning and hard-won wisdom that make Conlon one of Ireland’s finest and most compelling writers.

‘These essays amount to an alternative history of social change in Ireland … each one manages to keep faith with the truth of public speech.’ -Sean O’Reilly