To mark the centenary of the birth of writer Mary Lavin, who lived at Bective, Meath County Council's arts office and library service are hosting a Mary Lavin Season, which began with the recent exhibition of photography by Mike Bunn in the Solstice Arts Centre. This featured photographs of Lavin
taken in the 1970s, alongside a new series of images of contemporary writers and artists in Ireland today.
In November, Two Chairs Theatre Company presents library performances for primary schools. The renowned theatre company will perform Mary Lavin's well
loved stories 'A Likely Story' and 'The Widow's Son' for fifth and sixth class pupils. These stories are set in Co Meath, and feature the landscape, folklore and people, of the area around Bective, where Mary Lavin and her family lived for many years. These performances will bring the work of Mary Lavin to a new generation in Dunshaughlin, Navan and Trim.
Eileen Battersby will present an evening on the Work of Mary Lavin and the Short Story at Navan Library on 14th November. Battersby, author of 'Second Readings: from Beckett to Black Beauty' and 'Ordinary Dogs: a story of two lives' will address the subject of Lavin the writer and the importance of Lavin's writing in the context of Irish literature. She is an arts journalist with the Irish Times, where she is also literary correspondent. She has won the National Arts Journalist of the Year Award four times.
Michael Harding will present a talk on the life and works of Mary Lavin in Navan Library on 22nd November. Harding is an Cavan-native short-story writer, novelist, and playwright. He has published three novels: 'Priest and 'The Trouble with Sarah Gullion' and 'Bird in the Snow'. He became a member of Aosdána, the National Academy for Creative Artists, in 2000. He was Writer in Association with The National Theatre in 1993, was short listed for the Irish Times Aer Lingus Literature Award in 1989, and was Writer in Residence at Trinity College Dublin in 2000.
From 3rd-5th December, Meath County Council Arts Office presents 'Tales from Bellinter', an evening of theatre performances of Mary Lavin's 'Happiness' and 'The Widow's Son' adapted by two leading playwrights from the Northeast, Deirdre Kinehan and Padraic McIntyre. Set in the historical house of Bellinter House Hotel and beside the banks of the river Boyne, audiences will experience the work of Mary Lavin in the surroundings that inspired her.
American born, Lavin came to Bective when her father, Tom Lavin returned to Ireland from Boston to work as estate manager at Bective House outside Navan. She was to become one of the best known Irish writers of her generation, living at the Abbey Farm overlooking Bective Abbey. Mary Lavin's stories received numerous international awards, including the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Katherine Mansfield Prize, and many first appeared in the prestigious New Yorker.