Caroline O’Donoghue, Clara Kiyoko Kumagai and Adiba Jaigirdar in conversation with Mary Watson.

Young Adult Fiction addresses many of the most urgent, and entertaining, matters in the collective consciousness. Join three of the most exciting YA novelists writing today, as they discuss their new novels, and the ways in which YA can change perspectives and influence the young people of today.

Caroline O’Donoghue’s Every Gift a Curse, the final book in the acclaimed, dark fantasy trilogy All Our Hidden Gifts, follows Maeve in her final attempt to defeat the Housekeeper and save her hometown, in a magical adventure filled with tarot, romance, parallel dimensions, and an evil far right group who threaten everything.

Catfish Rolling, Clara Kiyoko Kumagai’s debut novel blends magical-realism with Japanese myth and legend, in a story about Sora, a teenage girl, who’s quest to rescue her mother in the aftermath of an earthquake, leads her to places unknown, where time distorts and the unhuman exists.

Adiba Jaigirdar’s upcoming novel, The Dos and Donuts of Love, is a funny, contemporary romance that follows Shireen Malik, as she participates in a reality-TV baking show. Shireen is willing to give it all to win and help her parents’ donut shop get noticed, even if it means competing against her ex-girlfriend, Chris.

Duration 1 hour

Caroline O’Donoghue is a London-Irish author, journalist and host of the podcast Sentimental Garbage. She has contributed to The Times, The Irish Times, Buzzfeed and Vice, among others.  Her debut novel, Promising Young Women (Virago, 2018) was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards Newcomer of the Year and the Kate O’Brien Award. Her second novel, Scenes of a Graphic Nature (Virago, 2020) was longlisted for the Ondaatje Prize. Her widely-acclaimed YA Gift series follows teenage Maeve as she discovers her magical gift with tarot cards and explores friendship in a mystery steeped in Irish folklore. Every Gift a Curse (Walker Books, 2023) is the third and final book in the series, following All Our Hidden Gifts (2021) and The Gifts That Bind Us (2022).

Clara Kumagai is from Canada, Japan and Ireland. Her fiction and non-fiction for children and adults has been published in The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, Banshee, Room, The Kyoto Journal and Cicada, among others. Her short story, ‘A Girl Named Indigo’, was translated and published in Japanese as a picture book with the title Indigo wo sagashite (Shogakukan, 2020). She was a recipient of a We Need Diverse Books Mentorship (with Nicola Yoon) and a finalist for the 2020 Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award for Catfish Rolling, her debut YA novel (Zephyr, 2023).

Adiba Jaigirdar is the award-winning, critically-acclaimed and bestselling author of The Henna Wars (Hachette, 2020), Hani & Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating (2021), and A Million to One (HarperCollins, 2022). A Bangladeshi/Irish writer and former teacher, she is the winner of the YA book prize 2022, the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2021, and was a finalist for the 2022 Lambda Literary awards. Her latest novel, The Dos and Donuts of Love (Feiwel & Friends) will be published this year.

Mary Watson is from Cape Town and now lives on the west coast of Ireland. She has a PhD from the University of Cape Town where she taught for many years. She won the Caine Prize in 2006, the Philida Award in 2022, and The Wren Hunt, was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards in 2018. Mary Watson writes short stories, thrillers, and young adult fantasy.


Event Location

An Taibhdhearc

19 Middle St, Galway, H91 RX76

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The main auditorium is step free, and there are accessible toilet facilities. There are two accessible parking spaces either end of Middle Street and three spaces on Saint Augustine Street opposite. There is a Loop system. HEPA filter will be in use