Robert McLiam Wilson

Robert McLiam Wilson (born 1964 in Belfast) is a Northern Irish novelist. He studied at University of Cambridge. However he dropped out, and for a short time was homeless. This period of his life profoundly affected his later life and influenced his works.

Robert McLiam Wilson is a writer for Charlie Hebdo and is also the award-winning novelist behind Eureka Street and Ripley Bogle. This week he joined Jarlath to discuss how stealing from a library began an obsession with reading at a young age, the art of writing funny for books, falling in and out of love with Belfast as well as explaining the circumstances which saw him homeless while still a schoolboy.

Robert beautifully describes the current mindset of Paris where he now resides, the gentle soul which is at the heart of Charlie Hebdo and what he believes is the birth of humour in France.

McLiam Wilson has written three novels; Ripley Bogle (1989), Manfred’s Pain (1992) and Eureka Street (1996). Ripley Bogle is a novel about a homeless man in London. It won the Rooney Prize and the Hughes Prize in 1989, and a Betty Trask Award and the Irish Book Award in 1990. Eureka Street focuses on the lives of two Belfast friends, one Catholic and one Protestant, shortly before and after the IRA ceasefires in 1994. A BBC TV adaptation of Eureka Street was broadcast in 1999. He is also the author of a non-fiction book about poverty, The Dispossessed (1992), and has made television documentaries for the BBC.

Ripley Bogle, André Deutsch, 1989
Manfred’s Pain, Picador, 1992
The Dispossessed (with Donovan Wylie), Picador, 1992
Eureka Street, Secker & Warburg, 1996

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