Joseph O’Connor


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From one UNESCO City of Literature to another—Joseph O’Connor, who hails from Dublin, visited Iowa City in February 2011 to kick off the book tour for his novel Ghost Light.

In this On the Fly interview, O’Connor discusses “the wonderful game that’s at the heart of fiction,” which he describes as a shared journey: “I’m going to tell you this story about people who never existed, and you’re going to pretend that they did, and we’re going to meet each other halfway.”

He also speaks of a writer’s need to see the world in a unique way, explores the ways in which Joyce’s Ulysses is both wonderful and flawed, and the ways in which writing is like a marriage.

O’Connor is the author of eight novels and a novella, the most recent of which is 2014’s The Thrill of it All. He also has two short story collections, a play, and several works of non-fiction to his credit.