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Dublin: 9°C Monday 12 April 2021

111 authors, 28 hours: Irish writers eye world reading record

The ultimate readathon.

We hope Seamus Heaney dons a tux for the event.
We hope Seamus Heaney dons a tux for the event.
Image: Paul Faith/PA Archive/Press Association Images

REMEMBER THE READATHON back in your school days? Well, 111 writers are hoping to pull off a record-breaking reading marathon this weekend at the Irish Writers’ Centre.

This Bloomsday, a group of Irish authors are hoping to beat the current Guinness World Record held by their German counterparts for ‘Most Authors Reading Consecutively from Their Own Books’.

The event kicks off at 10am on Friday, 15 June with Senator David Norris at 19 Parnell Square in Dublin. The first reader will be best-selling novelist – and author of the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne. He will read from his latest offering The Absolutist.

Each reading will last for 15 minutes and run for a total of 28 hours. They will continue through the night and finish up at 2pm on Bloomsday, Saturday 16 June.

The readings will be open to the public and the event will be streamed live on the Irish Writers’ Centre. A spokeswoman for the event said there will be a “broad range of texts and tastes” and audience members are invited to stay all night to “cheer on the writers reading into the small hours”.

Seamus Heaney will take over at 10am on Saturday morning to read from his Opened Ground: Selected Poems, 1966-1996. The penultimate reader will be Roddy Doyle with an excerpt from The Van at 1.30pm, while the final slot has been given to Jack Harte’s From Under Gogol’s Nose.

The event is also being organised to mark the 25th anniversary of the writers’ centre, a sanctuary for budding literary stars in the city. A full schedule of readers can be downloaded here.

Related: Off the record – upcoming Irish world record attempts>

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