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John Connell

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John Connell

John Connell is a multi-award-winning author, film producer and investigative journalist.

At 33, John is a United Nations (Australia) Media peace prize winner and two time Walkley winner for his human rights documentaries. He worked for several years as an investigative journalist covering the Sri Lankan Civil War and indigenous human rights cases.

An award-winning filmmaker his documentary programs have won over a dozen international awards including 4 webbys for Africa to Australia (SBS) the first online documentary made in Australia.

His No 1 bestselling memoir The Cow Book was published in March 2018 to international acclaim spending 37 weeks in the Irish bestseller list and won the Irish book awards Popular Non-fiction title of the year. The Cow Book is currently being adapted to a documentary produced by Connell.

His work as a playwright has lead to a New York Festivals award win. He is currently developing a number of TV and Film projects.

Part memoir, part essay, The Running Book was published in October 2020 by Picador.

In April 2024 John’s a meditation on the rituals of farming life Twelve Sheep: Life Lessons From A Lambing Season was published by Allen and Unwin and went straight to number one on the Irish Bestsellers list.

Praise for “The Cow Book”

“This book is a vivid and sharply observed account of a way of life which is almost invisible, a new hidden Ireland. It is also a fascinating portrait of a single sensibility, a born noticer, someone on whom nothing is lost, observing birth and death, the landscape and his own heritage”

Colm Tóibín

“I usually view rural Ireland from a train or car window but reading this gripping, fascinating book I felt I was becoming a cattle farmer”

Roddy Doyle

“A gorgeous read, full of warmth, truth and tentative wonder. John Connell has written “an elegy to the nature I know”, but this book is an elegy to so much more -- to art and myth and sorrow and longing”

Sara Baume

Praise for The Running Book

“A compelling insight into the mind of someone who loves to run for running’s sake, and who is keen to immerse himself fully into the world around him”

Irish Independent

“In this difficult new world where a walk or a run around the block might be the only respite your mental health gets in a day of isolation, Connell’s paean to the activity couldn’t be better timed”

Sunday Independent

“Connell’s wisdom is grounded. Everything comes back to Longford, to the land and to Ireland’s struggle for self-expression, which informs the author’s own”

Irish Times

“Early in his second book, John Connell raises the existence of two forms of runners, those running for something and those from something. He does so in a piece of work, ostensibly about running, which is so much more and rewards the reader beyond an insight into one discipline”

RTE Culture

“This book explores wonderfully the joys and pleasures of running and conveys why it is so important to so many people. Through running journeys that are interspersed with interesting anecdotes and memories, the history and beauty of Ireland are brought to life. We are all unique and run for many different reasons but every runner will find something poignant that resonates within this book”

Paula Radcliffe

“Some books are for runners, some are for history lovers. This charming volume is for both. It has made me vow to keep my eyes more widely open the next time I put my running shoes on – whether the ground beneath my feet is new or familiar”

Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost

“Read The Running Book and you see life in every route you run: past, present and future. Life is for running”

Sonia O’Sullivan

“British colonialism is a topic that demands coverage and I am glad that Mr Connell is approaching it from this new lens”

Shashi Tharoor, author of Inglorious Empire

“In this slim volume, Connell offers a lovely testimonial to all the seeing to be done by eyes and hearts that hold themselves open. And he shows us that, wherever we run, the world remains with us, to be grasped in all its grief and majesty”

Zia Haider Rahman, author of In The Light of What We Know

“Sensational! John Connell has done it again”

Dean Karnazes

Praise For Twelve Sheep: Life Lessons From A Lambing Season

“Connell has written a wise book, suffused with honesty and authenticity”

Salvador Ryan, The Irish Independent

“Twelve Sheep is a small gem, full of quiet wisdom and gorgeous descriptions of the wonder of nature, the redemption it holds, and how the landscape is charged with meaning. It’s been a long time since I read such a positive book”

Martin Chilton, The Independent

“an enjoyable, thoughtful and thought-provoking book”

The Irish Examiner

“A beautiful and soothing book, at once far-reaching and intimate, it serves as a sublime exhortation to stop and savour our precious and fleeting time on earth, to be grateful for the life we're given”

Donal Ryan

“This is such a lovely book, beautifully constructed and crafted. As everyone knows who has enjoyed The Cow Book, John Connell writes like a dream. In Twelve Sheep he returns to the old family farm in Longford, and the contours of a landscape both starkly real and richly imagined, to quarry that inexhaustible seam, the simple yet profound life lessons that come from farming. This is a wise and humane book, a book to lift our spirits in grim times”

Michael Wood

“Twelve Sheep is what I call a real book, an honest book. I can hear John Connell's voice lilting off the page, and telling me the many truths he has discovered: truths I need to know, and everyone needs to know”

Rosamund Young

“Sheep, and sheep farming, are far more interesting than you think”

Tim Flannery

Listen to John in discussion with Miriam O Callaghan on Sunday with Miriam -RTE Radio 1

Rights Sold:
“The Cow Book” Granta
The Running Book Macmillan (UK, Commonwealth & USA)

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