Kevin Barry’s first short story collection There are Little Kingdoms won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2007, since then has written a novel City of Bohane (2011) which was recently shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and last year saw the release of his second set of short stories Dark Lies the Island.
What is your idea of happiness?
The absence of misery. Not feeling a constant desire to writhe on the floor in torment. No great impulse to wail, or keen, or weep. And so forth.
What is your favourite virtue?
Modesty. (And he kept a straight face.)
What do you most value in your friends?
Sufficient sobriety to drive me home.
What is your biggest weakness?
Oh, the naked seething ambition, I suppose.