Niall Williams, a Dublin-born writer, lives in Kiltumper, Co Clare in the west of Ireland with his wife Christine Breen. He is the author of nine novels, a novella, three stage plays, four non-fiction works, and several screenplays for film and television.
~ News ~
IN KILTUMPER: A Year in an Irish Garden by Niall Williams and Christine Breen will be published by Bloomsbury and Bloomsbury USA in August 2021.
The next KILTUMPER WRITING WORKSHOP in fiction will be held ONLINE
Saturday October 31st and Sunday November 1st. For enquires email kiltumperbooks at gmail.com
THIS IS HAPPINESS, Niall's ninth novel was nominated for The Walter Scott prize, the IRISH BOOK AWARDS and was listed among The Washington Post's 50 best novels of 2019.
Read Niall's OP ED piece in The New York Times.
5 Star Reviews for THIS IS HAPPINESS
'Charming is one word for Williams’ prose. It is also life-affirming and written with a turn of phrase that makes the reader want to underline something on every page. I suggest we all buy his books, pushing him into that realm of globally fashionable Irish writers (which he might not care about), but more importantly, sharing with a vast audience his humane and poetic world view.'
—Isabel Berwick, THE FINANCIAL TIMES
'The Ireland that Niall Williams writes about in this novel is gone — or would be if he hadn’t cradled it so tenderly in the clover of his prose. Escaping into the pages of “This Is Happiness” feels as much like time travel as enlightenment. Halfway through, I realized that if I didn’t stop underlining passages, the whole book would be underlined. This is a story about the beginnings of love and the persistence of affection, about the loss of faith and the recovering of belief. If you’re a reader of a certain frame of mind, craving a novel of delicate wit laced with rare wisdom, this, truly, is happiness.'
—Ron Charles, THE WASHINGTON POST
'It is why this novel is a revelation. The world is chock-full of redemption through pain and all the classes of ugliness and unhappiness that can befall a character en route there. Not this time, however. To borrow a word that crops up occasionally here, Williams' sunny, grainy, gently hilarious saga is an "elsewhere", a place of unashamed romance for a nostalgic tradition of storytelling, where exaggeration and eye twinkles might in fact just bring you closer to the truth. Sublime.'
—Hilary White, IRISH INDEPENDENT
'Admirers of Niall Williams’s Booker-longlisted History of the Rain will not be disappointed to learn that his latest novel is as good, and possibly even better. It’s set in the remote Irish village of Faha, essentially unchanged in a thousand years, in which the advent of electricity and love have the simultaneous ability to upend expectations and beliefs. What makes this so compelling and enjoyable is Williams’s transparent love of his characters and delight in his setting, a place far removed from any Oirish stereotype. Instead, he depicts somewhere that magic – man-made or otherwise – can quietly transform even the most apparently unchanging of existences.'
—Alexander Larman, THE OBSERVER
Williams has painted a lush, wandering portrait of Faha, a village back in time in County Clare, Ireland, a place also featured in his previous novel, “History of the Rain,” which was longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize. ... “This Is Happiness” is as full of detours and backward glances as it is of forward motion and — as befits a novel narrated by an old man who comments that “as you get toward the end, you revisit the beginning” — is centrally preoccupied with time itself. ...Be kind, he admonishes the reader directly at one point, and it’s a testament to this bighearted novel that I felt duly chastened, almost like a member of the clan.
—Elizabeth Graver, THE NEW YORK TIMES
'In this beautifully written novel, every image, every brushstroke is employed to illuminate this chrysalis-to-butterfly moment; the moment that Christy, the stranger, the bringer of electricity and light, enters Noel's life and the life of the villagers. In it, stock characters come alive; the parish priest, the local doctor, the town beauties, the village drunk, but Williams invests them all with such authenticity that you feel like you know them personally, and are wholly the better for it.
A warm-hearted and life-affirming read about love and transformation.'
—Justine Carberry, THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT
‘A kind of tectonic movement from spring into summer, marked by the rhythms of village life ... He has a humorist’s eye, and his own fond amusement at the people he writes about shines out through the writing. The fields of Ireland are very crowded, but by the conclusion of This Is Happiness, you feel Williams has justified adding another book to the herd.’
—Barney Norris, THE GUARDIAN
‘The novel is more like Synge’s Playboy than any other I can think of … On the one hand it could be described as picturesque, larger-than-life, overwritten; and on the other as lyrical, tender and sumptuously perceptive. The truth is, it is all of it.
—Anne Haverty, THE SUNDAY TIMES, IRELAND
It's funny, insightful, gorgeously full of language and, in Faha, he creates somewhere as vivid as Joyce's Dublin or Kevin Barry's Bohane.
A totally unexpected joy; I was bowled over by it.
—Rick O'Shea, RICK O'SHEA BOOKCLUB @rickoshea
Williams has the eye of a poet and the raconteur's knack for finding a tale in the most unpromising nook of everyday life, as a now-adult Noel, summoning the Faha of his nostalgic imagination, narrates an elegiac novel that's careful always to offset the antic rural eccentricity with darker notes of loss.
—Claire Allfree, THE DAILY MAIL, UK
Fiction Writing Workshop Weekend
Two Fiction Writing Workshops are planned in Kiltumper in 2020. 1-4th May and August (date to be decided soon).
Two writers from previous workshops have written about their experience. Read Alana Kirk's wonderful piece about participating in Niall's workshop. For more information about the workshop: Contact. Further testimonials here.