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You'll be able to read Alan Shatter's novel from next week

Due to public demand, the Justice Minister’s novel about a politician’s affair with his secretary is being reprinted by Poolbeg.

Image: Photocall Ireland

BILLED AS A ‘story you will never forget’ – Alan Shatter’s novel ‘Laura’ will be available in Irish booksellers next week.

The book – first published in 1990 – centres around the troubled private life of a politician who has an affair with his secretary. There’s been renewed interest in the work in recent weeks, after it emerged a complaint about it had been made to the censorship board.

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland today, the Justice Minister said he expected the novel would be available next week, after he gave publishers Poolbeg permission to go ahead with a reprint several weeks ago.

The Dublin South TD also confirmed that responsibility for appointing members to the Censorship of Publications Board will be transferred from his department to that of Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan to avoid any perception of a conflict of interest.

Founded in 1929, the board has the power to bar ‘any book or periodical’ from going on sale if they are found to be obscene. Notable works banned by the body include D. H. Lawrence’s ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ and Brendan Behan’s ‘Borstal Boy’.

The minister said the board hadn’t been required to consider any work for censorship for the last five years, and that he hadn’t enquired about the nature of the complaint against his book, adding:

On a personal level I find it quite odd that – considering it was published 23 years ago – that anybody should complain it to the censorship board.

Martin Shannon, of Dubray Books in Rathmines said the shop had placed an order for the book, following a number of requests from customers. He told TheJournal.ie:

People have been coming in enquiring about it after hearing about it in the news, so there is interest. But I wouldn’t say there’s been a flood.

He said they were expecting to receive copies of ‘Laura’ next week, and that it would be in all of their stores.

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