St. Pat’s Day Special: Rue Matthiessen, CASTLES AND RUINS & Claire Coughlan, WHERE THEY LIE

We talk with Rue Matthiessen, daughter of the famed writer Peter Mathiessen about her family memoir, Castles And Ruins: Unraveling, Family Mysteries, And Literary Legacy In The Irish Countryside.

Then, Claire Coughlan tells us about her twisty-turny whodunit, Where They Lie. It’s a murder mystery set in 1968 Dublin, where the detective isn’t a policeman, but a young female news reporter on the make.

And finally we air a short clip from our conversation with Fintan O’Toole last St. Patrick’s Day about his personal history of modern Ireland, We Don’t Know Ourselves.

Writers Voice— in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004.

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Key Words: Rue Matthiessen, memoir, author interview, Claire Coughlan, Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day, , memoir, podcast, book podcast, author interview, Writer’s Voice, Francesca Rheannon, mystery fiction, crime fiction, Peter Matthiessen

A Journey To Ireland Reveals A Family’s Secrets

In her memoir Castles and Ruins, Rue Matthiessen uses her memories of those two journeys to Ireland to dig deeper into her parents’ literary legacy, their stormy marriage, and their complicated relationships to their children.

Decades after spending a summer in the Irish countryside with her parents—author Deborah Love and National Book Award winner Peter Matthiessen—Rue Matthiessen took her young family back to Ireland to revisit locales from that season in the sixties. As a guide, she had her mother’s book, Annaghkeen, named for the castle that overlooked their home in Galway.

The book is also a vivid portrait of the artistic community on the East End of Long Island that flourished in the 1960s and 70s.

A Thrilling Crime Fiction Debut Set in 1968 Dublin

Former investigative journalist Claire Coughlan always wanted to write crime fiction. And we are so glad she’s finally been able to do so. Her debut novel is Where They Lie.

It’s 1968 Dublin and Ireland is on the cusp: the strangle grip of the old order of the Catholic Church is just beginning to slacken. There are new opportunities for women — in investigative journalism, for example. But contraception won’t be available until 1985 — and abortion until 2018.

That’s fifty years after Coughlan’s protagonist, the young female journalist Nicoletta Sarto, takes on the task of investigating a case long gone cold: the death of a young woman that could be linked to a clandestine abortion clinic.

Sarto vividly brings 1968 Dublin to life, where the upper crust thinks its privilege will protect it against accountability for its crimes — until it doesn’t.