John Banville and Mike Murphy discuss books, short stories and poetry collections.
John Banville is an Irish novelist, short story writer, adapter of dramas and screenwriter. Though he has been described as "the heir to Proust, via Nabokov", Banville himself maintains that W. B. Yeats and Henry James are the two real influences on his work.
John has won the 1976 James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the 2003 International Nonino Prize, the 2005 Booker Prize, the 2011 Franz Kafka Prize, the 2013 Austrian State Prize for European Literature and the 2014 Prince of Asturias Award for Literature.
He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2007, Italy made him a Cavaliere of the Ordine della Stella d'Italia (essentially a knighthood) in 2017.
John is a former member of Aosdána, having voluntarily relinquished the financial stipend in 2001 to another, more impoverished, writer.
He was born in Co Wexford and he published his first novel, Nightspawn, in 1971. A second, Birchwood, followed two years later. "The Revolutions Trilogy", published between 1976 and 1982, comprises three works, each named in reference to a renowned scientist: Doctor Copernicus, Kepler and The Newton Letter.
His next work, Mefisto, had a mathematical theme. His 1989 novel The Book of Evidence, shortlisted for the Booker Prize and winner of that year's Guinness Peat Aviation award, heralded a second trilogy, three works which deal in common with the work of art. "The Frames Trilogy" is completed by Ghosts and Athena, both published during the 1990s. Banville's thirteenth novel.
In addition, John publishes crime novels as Benjamin Black — most of these feature the character of Quirke, an Irish pathologist based in Dublin. Banville is considered a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature