Queer Literature, 2016: Hilary McCollum

Empfindlichkeiten-Festival, LCB, 15.07.2016, Berlin

Hilary McCollum, Empfindlichkeiten-Festival, LCB, 15.07.2016, Berlin – photo by Tobias Bohm.


Hilary McCollum is an Irish writer, playwright and activist – and she’s both speaking and reading at the 2016 „Empfindlichkeiten“ Literature Festival in Berlin.

„In 2010 I returned to Ireland after living in England for 25 years. The move has given me more time to write, enabling me to begin writing for the stage with the support of Sole Purpose Productions, based at Derry Playhouse. This led to me writing my first play, Lesbian Style, which was performed as part of both the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2014, Belfast Pride and the WOW Festival. It draws on interviews with lesbian and bi women in Ireland and England as well as incidents from my own life to explore the ups and downs of lesbian existence.“

Hilary’s web site  |  Hilary’s novel „Golddigger“


01_Is there a link, a text, a piece of your work that gives a good introduction to the topics and issues you care about?

http://www.bellabooks.com/9781594934421-prod.html [„Golddigger“, Hillary’s novel.]


02_If someone calls you „homosexual author“, you…

I’m happy with the term lesbian author


03_A queer book that influenced you (how?)…

„Patience and Sarah“ by Isabel Miller because it gave me a sense of lesbian ancestors.


04_If your work is shown/placed in book stores, THESE are the authors/artists that you’d feel most honored to be placed next to:

Isabel Miller, Emma Donoghue


05_Too many people associate homosexuality with gay males first and foremost. Who should be more visible?

The relative invisibility of lesbian relationships is a problem. It reflects the misogyny of the culture.


06_A queer moment you’ve had in Berlin (or anywhere in Germany) that you’ll remember for a long time:

Seeing the golden hat in Neues Museum. The commentary said it was designed for a male head but I think it would look great on me. I’ve just one a golden crown award for my novel Golddigger so I’d like to be pictured wearing the golden hat as my crown.


07_Name some experts, authors, activists, places, institutions and discourses/debates that informed/influenced the way you see and understand queerness – and yourself:

Virginia Woolf, Martina Navratilova, Mark Ashton, Andrea Dworkin, greenham common, lesbian strength and gay pride marches


08_Name some experts, authors, activists, places, institutions and debates/questions that deserve more recognition/need more love:

The women’s suffrage movement. Lesbian history in general.


09_Is there a heterosexual ally that you like/value and who you’ve grateful for?

My mum


10_Is there another guest/author at „Empfindlichkeiten“ you’re particularly looking forward to? (why?)

Saleem Haddad, because his novel sounds really interesting.


11_Is there a queer figure/personality, a celebrity or a queer story/phenomenom that is very visible in mainstream culture – a visibility that makes you happy?

The films „Carol“ and „Pride“ were mainstream hits and I loved both of them. I knew Mark Ashton, the main character in Pride. He took me to my first pride and first gay bar.


12_Is there a political or public figure that should be scrutinized or valued much more?

Mark Ashton.


Hillary McCollum... and the golden hat of Berlin. (Montag: Stefan Mesch)

Hilary McCollum… and the golden hat of Berlin. (Montage: Stefan Mesch)


all my 2016 interviews on Queer Literature:

…and, in German:

Kuratoren & Experten am Literarischen Colloquium Berlin: 

Queer Literature: „Empfindlichkeiten“ Festival 2016:

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