Ian McGuire online book launch

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Author Ian McGuire.

1 October 2020 Tickets from £5 — Book now

Close readers will have noticed Ian McGuire crop up in these hallowed pages before – the former co-director of the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester is also the acclaimed author of Man Booker Prize-longlisted The North Water, recently adapted into a four-part television series starring Colin Farrell and Tom Courtenay, and set to hit a small screen near you soon (BBC Two, in fact).

Parallels are drawn to Dickens by Roddy Doyle in his September review in The New York Times – he says, “There was very little I didn’t like and admire about The Abstainer.”

In the meantime, Ian’s latest novel is just out – called The Abstainer, it’s described as “an epic story of revenge and obsession” set in Victorian Manchester, and sounds as edgy and maybe even as grisly as his second novel (his first, 2006’s Incredible Bodies, is more of a campus novel). Parallels are drawn to Dickens by Roddy Doyle in his September review in The New York Times (where you can read an extract from the book) – he says, “There was very little I didn’t like and admire about The Abstainer.”

Here’s the plot… “Stephen Doyle arrives in Manchester from New York in 1867. He is an Irish-American veteran of the Civil War and a member of the Fenians, a secret society intent on ending British rule in Ireland, by any means necessary. Now he has come to seek vengeance. James O’Connor has fled grief and drink in Dublin for a sober start in Manchester as Head Constable. His mission is to discover and thwart the Fenians’ plans. When his long-lost nephew arrives on his doorstep, he never could have foreseen how this would imperil his fragile new life – or how his and Doyle’s fates would come to be intertwined. The rebels will be hanged at dawn, and their brotherhood is already plotting revenge.”

Ian McGuire will read from the new book and chat about it with John McAuliffe, Associate Publisher at Carcanet Press and Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Manchester – and co-founder, in 2007, of the CfNW alongside Ian – in this online event hosted by Blackwell’s Bookshop.

Sign up via Eventbrite – you will be sent an email with details of how to join the online event shortly before it starts. (Please note you must download Zoom to gain access to the event and use the same email address to log in that you used to book your tickets.) Tickets are priced at £5 each. If you would like to buy a ticket together with a signed copy of The Abstainer for £17, see the Eventbrite link.

Ian McGuire The Abstainer
Ian McGuire The Abstainer

1 October 2020 Tickets from £5 Book now

Where to go near Ian McGuire online book launch

caprismcr - restaurant
City Centre
Restaurant
Capri’s Cucina Italiana

The King Street area isn’t short of popular Italian restaurants, but none strike quite the same note as Capri’s, where you’ll be greeted like family and served some of the most authentic Neapolitan food in Manchester.

The Feel Good Club exterior
Manchester
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Feel Good Club

Our flagship Feel Good Club in Manchester, open 7 days a week, providing a beautiful friendly environment for coffee, brunch, lunch, cocktails and beers with an amazing selection of non alcoholic beverages too.

Ancoats
Bar or Pub
Finders Keepers

Welcoming waterside bar in New Islington Marina, serving a wide array of carefully-curated cocktails.

City Centre
Restaurant
Climat

Highly-regarded wine-led, French-leaning wine bar and rooftop restaurant in the city centre.

Image licensed with iStock.
Stockport
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Stockport Central Library

Stockport Central Library is a Carnegie library, built 1913–15 in the Edwardian Baroque style. It continues to serve as Stockport’s largest library.

The Edge exterior
Wigan
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The Edge, Wigan

Opened in September 2017, The Edge Arena is Wigan’s performance, conference and event venue.

Liverpool
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Hummingbird

Hummingbird is one of Liverpool’s most stylish and timeless cocktail bars.

City Centre
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Blinker

Elegant cocktail bar in the centre of Manchester, with a relaxed atmosphere and wonderfully friendly staff.

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