Glengormley man’s novel to be launched in Belfast

A book by a Glengormley man who has lived in Japan for the last 30 years is to be launched at The Black Box in Belfast next month.

Belfast, with Dinosaurs, 1979 A Prehysteric Farce’ has been penned by former Elmfield resident Martin Connolly.

Martin was born in Liverpool in 1962 to Northern Irish parents. The family moved back in 1968 and settled in the Elmfield Crescent area of Glengormley.

He attended CBS in Barrack Street and the Glen Road in Belfast and went to Trinity College for his BA in Spanish and English (Medieval and Renaissance Literature).

Prof Martin Connolly.

Martin attended Queen’s part-time while working, and got an MA in Medieval Literature. He graduated in 1990 and left the following year for Japan, becoming a teacher at a number of private English conversation schools. Around 2000, he started working part-time at universities and later became full-time. He is now a Professor of literature at Tsurumi University in Yokohama.

Speaking to the Newtownabbey Times, Prof Connolly said: “It is a novel which is comedic in style and rather epic in form, and it is largely set in a 1979 Belfast, Northern Ireland and much in Glengormley.

“The story contains a number of characters who are somehow linked by what appears to be the discovery of fossilized dinosaur bones on the Antrim Coast.

“This story comically, and distortedly, shadows the real thing. In 2020, research was published about the discovery of two fossilized dinosaur bones. It is hoped this book will renew interest in that discovery. The narrative contains a great deal of accurate, but also imaginative, dino-paleo material which should make it attractive to anyone interested in such.

“While superficially comedic, the novel can also be read as a serious look at Ireland and its troubled times and the whole business of digging into the earth to discover precisely what wonders are to be found.

“Up until now, I have published poetry and a number of works of creative fiction and released them through my company Snowchild Press, to some considerable critical acclaim. This is the first time for me to publish creative work through a regular publisher.

“This book should attract considerable attention inside Ireland as it depicts 1979 Belfast in great historically correct detail and approaches the difficult history and societal problems of Northern Ireland head on. It is also likely to attract a fair amount of attention from those interested in the beasts of prehistory. I certainly hope so!”

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The free launch event for the book, published by Shanway Press, will take place at the Hill Street venue on Tuesday, August 9 (7pm).