Evelyn Conlon enlivened the first live event at Princess Grace Irish Library since the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

The well-known Irish novelist, short story writer and essayist has recently published a volume of short stories Moving About the Place that includes a story based in Monaco. Evelyn started the story while she was Writer in Residence at the Library as a beneficiary of the Ireland Funds Monaco Residential Bursary, before the first covid lockdown hit.

She recalls how she had to take the last available flight from Nice to Dublin, her stay on the Cote d’Azur cut cruelly short. Evelyn returned in July to complete her time here, by which time Up at the Library had been published as part of the compilation.

“I was the last speaker before the lockdown and the first speaker to come back now that live events have started again,” she told the appreciative audience on Thursday evening.

Asked if the pandemic had exercised an influence on her work, she said it had undoubtedly acted as a dampener, but she busied herself with editing, and finished Up at the Library.

The importance of libraries, reading and also writing featured in her lively talk where she read from the chosen segments of her work in this sold-out event. When asked if she has a certain reader in mind while writing she said she wouldn’t be able to write if she thought about it. “Sometimes I do not know myself where the story takes me and it is up to the readers to make up their minds.”

“No one has a voice like Evelyn Conlon”’ wrote Martina Evans in the Irish Times. “She comes from an odd angle that suddenly seems like the only angle worthwhile.”

The audience had many questions for Every Conlon and time permitting the discussion would have continued into the night.

For each and every guest she was very grateful. “We are now starting to get out more,” she said, and one also has to get used to it again.

PHOTOS: Martina Brodie