Nicole Flattery – Artist of the Month

By: Philomena Barry

Hailing from Kinnegad, Co Westmeath, Nicole Flattery is one of Ireland’s rising stars of the literary world.

She studied Theatre & Film at Trinity College, Dublin, and credits Irish playwrights – including Samuel Beckett, Enda Walsh, Marina Carr – as big influences. She also has a Master’s in Creative Writing from Trinity.

Her fiction first saw the light of day five years ago, when she was working as an intern at Lilliput Press. Her friend, the writer Thomas Morris, then editor of The Stinging Fly, asked to read a story she was working on about a young woman who discovers a hump on her back. He really believed in her story, guiding her through several drafts until it achieved the standard he’d known she was capable of.

Not surprisingly, after ‘Hump’ was published an agent took her on immediately.

Her story “Track,” about a girl who is swept into a relationship with a wildly narcissistic comedian, set in a lonely, almost post-apocalyptic New York City, won her the White Review prize, and around that time the publisher of The Stinging Fly, Declan Meade, proposed she work towards a collection.

Nicole has had work published in The Dublin Review, Winter Papers, and The Irish Times. Her short story, Parrot, was published in the Winter 2018 edition of The Stinging Fly, and it won Short Story of the Year at the 2019 An Post Irish Book Awards. She also contributed a story to Faber’s 2019 Anthology of New Irish Writing.

Her first collection of short stories, Show Them a Good Time, was published last year by The Stinging Fly Press. It is described as an urgent and unforgettable collection of stories; “a masterclass in the short story – bold, irreverent and agonizingly funny” (Sally Rooney), heralding “a rising star” (The Irish Times). The book “demands repeated reading” (Jon McGregor) and “announces the arrival of a brilliant talent” (The Financial Times).

When I interviewed Nicole last month, she told me she’s working on a novel set in Andy Warhol’s New York art studio – something for us to look forward to!

If you’d like to listen to that interview, here’s our podcast from the show ‘For Art’s Sake’:

Philomena interviews Nicole Flattery on For Arts Sake on Athlone Community Radio