The Long Slide

The Long Slide

Magda Kay

Philip Larkin’s restless spirit could not commit to any one course: he wrote serious poems and comical ones, had serious friends and comical ones, a religious and ‘proper’ lover and a sceptical, flamboyant one; he coveted fame and luxury - bathing and booze and birds - yet was known as a hermit.

More
The Talking Cure

The Talking Cure

Seamus O’Mahony

Sigmund Freud did not care greatly for his patients, and learning and teaching were more to his taste than helping and healing. Nevertheless, psychoanalysis has become in our age the pervasive orthodoxy of self-knowledge, even if its scientific claims are on a par with those of, say, aromatherapy.

More
Warts and All

Warts and All

Patrick Gillan

John Deakin recorded in his photographs the Soho of the 1950s, a bohemia inhabited by painters like Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud and poets like WS Graham and George Barker. Though his portraits are often harsh, they are not devoid of sympathy, or pity for those crushed by life.

More

Hidden Irelands

Lia Mills

Celia de Fréine seems to have arrived on the literary scene late but fully formed: as though she waited until her voice was mature to publish at all. Since she started, she’s been unstoppable. In an interview, she talks about the gestation of her work and her return to earlier ‘shelved’ work.

More

Behind the Erin Curtain

Bryan Fanning

If our economic insufficiencies in the 1950s were obvious, and our attempts to address them obviously inadequate, this might not be because history, or our inescapable national character, were stacked against us. The fault, an unlikely clerical source argued, might not be in our stars but in ourselves.

More

Worlds in Words

Sean Sheehan

Scholarly research into ‘dead’ languages evolved over many centuries into an intellectual discipline which was to become the backbone of universities' humanities departments. The history of this progress is the subject of an impressive and hugely industrious new work.

More

Deeper than God

Manus Charleton

Dworkin argues that, as well as religious theists, there are many others who because they believe the universe is inherently ordered while at the same time reaching beyond our comprehension, should also be regarded as religious. He calls them religious atheists. Among scientists, Einstein is the most famous religious atheist. 

More

A Serious Business

Brian Davey

Edward St Aubyn has undoubted comic gifts, as he has proven in his previous work, but his satire on the Booker Prize judging process tacks a little too closely to burlesque. Perhaps he was having so much fun he ‘let himself go’. But satire, when it is successful, is a serious business.

More

The Gaelic Hit Factory

Michael Cronin

In what might be called the cartoon version of our modern history, the Irish language is corralled in with land and religion as a shibboleth of the anti-modern. This is to ignore elements of the language movement which were innovative, dynamic and successful.

More

Back to the Well

Fáinche Ryan

The ‘ressourcement’ movement helped create the intellectual climate for the Second Vatican Council through its critique of a theology which had as its dominant concern not so much seeking an understanding of faith and mystery, as responding to and opposing heresies.

More

The Snug Opaque Quotidian

Kevin Stevens

Some critics thought John Updike ‘a minor novelist with a major style’, a misjudgement which may be based on a doctrinaire rejection of the suburban middle class life which was his material and which he represented in all its fullness and lushness, ‘giving the mundane its beautiful due’.

More

Hair of the Dog?

Michael O’Sullivan

Europe is a conglomeration of different economic models, whose various recessions have been provoked by disparate causes requiring distinct remedies. As in a hospital ward where one patient suffers from a broken leg, another gout and another cancer, a common treatment will fail to cure the majority of patients.

More

Unhappy Warrior

Ivor Roberts

George Kennan formulated the key strategy of containment of Russia which guided the West through the Cold War but he became increasingly out of step with the interventionist instincts of successive US presidents. While he was greatly honoured, his desire for a more modest, inward-looking America did not find an echo among policy-makers.

More

In From the Cold

John O’Brennan

As Ireland set about applying to join the EEC in the 1950s the anti-British discourse on which Irish nationalism relied began to look rather specious, set against the evidence of our overwhelming economic dependence on the UK: this was an asymmetrical relationship like no other in Europe.

More

Hostage to Fortune

George O'Brien

Brendan Behan’s brief, self-destructive moment in the American spotlight is a cautionary tale of excess. But we should also ask in whose interest was the myth of the man created? And what need did the wild Irishman fulfil for the American media and its audience?

More

Erdoğan Passes the Symplegades

Joseph Burke

Turkish writers remain vitally engaged with politics as the nation is reshaped and the population divided by the polarising President Erdoğan. Their analyses go deeper than Western interpretations of Erdoğan as simply another Islamist demagogue, and they protest in the hope of reconciliation and the restoration of secularism.

More

Nobody’s Perfect

Frank Freeman

The Stoic philosopher Seneca offered useful advice on self-mastery, how to deal with the passage of time and the vanity of acquisitiveness. If he did not always live up to the highest ideals himself, it can at least be said in his defence that he lived in difficult times.

More

The Dead Assemble

Nathan Hugh O’Donnell

The title piece in Brendan Cleary’s new collection is an elegy on the death of his brother. Overall, his poetry conveys an experience of real privation, of alcoholism and loneliness, which speaks to a wider and more long-standing reality about which we in Ireland perhaps don’t want to hear.

More

Budget Ritual and Reality

John Bradley

The question we will face in the coming years is whether we can trust governments in Ireland to take wise budgetary decisions that are in the wider, long-term interests of citizens rather than in the narrow, short-term interests of politicians, lobby groups and powerful banks

More

The Coast of Bohemia

Maurice Earls

One result of living behind the wall of large states that stands between us and central Europe is the tendency to see our history as somewhat unusual. Irish history is certainly very different from British, Dutch, French and Spanish imperial history but much less so if one looks a little beyond.

More

The Lightning and the Thunder

Philip Coleman

A study marked by brilliant analyses of some remarkable works of poetry and fiction written by US authors in the first half of the twentieth century allows us to hear inflections of voice that owe much to an enchantment with Ireland – that ‘Celtic parcel of irresistible allure’.

More

Norsemen, Normans, Wicklowmen

David Dickson

The latest volume of studies from the Friends of Medieval Dublin benefits greatly from the efforts of many young scholars, more adept at moving across disciplinary boundaries and methodologies than were some of the heroes of the first generation who fought for Wood Quay.

More

The Utility of Inquiry

Nicholas Canny

Many of the challenges put forward to ‘pure’ research in the humanities have been mounted before – by Jeremy Bentham and his followers – in the nineteenth century. They were also quite eloquently answered, by the likes of Arnold, Ruskin, Newman and John Stuart Mill.

More

No poppy, please

Pádraig Yeates

If it is true, as many people in Ireland now seem to believe, that First World War combatants were unjustly forgotten, Ireland may not have been the only place where that happened. But perhaps the war was forgotten because people deeply and desperately wanted to forget it.

More

Friends and Elegies

Florence Impens

Michael Longley’s new collection invites us to consider and accept the presence of death within life, and their interconnectedness, which modern society often tends to forget. It is, however, far from being a dark volume.

More

New Poems

Gerald Dawe

These four new poems by Gerald Dawe are from Mickey Finn’s Air, to be published later this year by Gallery Press

More

Living through Extermination

James Wickham

The concentration camps were extermination camps: when prisoners were not immediately murdered, they were subjected to a regime few could long survive. Yet this is not so unprecedented in human history. Eighteenth century slaves were not only routinely subjected to the most sadistic punishments but also worked to death.

More

Turn Down That Racket

Sean L’Estrange

Mike Goldsmith's engaging grand tour of the world of noise takes us from the (silent) "Big Bang" and the general quiet of pre-historic times to contemporary problems of noise pollution. An enjoyable read, full of insight and wit, it is a model of what popular science writing should do.

More

Britain and Ireland Begin

Rory McTurk

Two studies of early British history and prehistory and of a roughly equivalent period in Ireland leave the reader in no doubt as to how closely interrelated the two countries are, and indeed have been from time immemorial.

More

Is the Pope a Communist?

Angela Nagle

Some people are impressed by the apparent humility of Pope Francis and his objections to market capitalism. But should the left regard him as an ally or is socialism not more about production and plenty than simplicity and austerity?

More

But I Live in Dublin

Sean Sheehan

The Dublin Notebook, appearing as the seventh volume in OUP’s collected Hopkins, is an exemplary work of scholarship and from now any serious piece of writing about the last phase of Hopkins’s life will rely on and be grateful for the painstaking work of its two editors.

More

One Onion, Many Layers

Maurice Earls

Irish Catholic social elites, emerging confidently after the ebb of British anti-Catholicism in the nineteenth century, increasingly sent their children to schools, both in England and in Ireland, created on the public school model. There some of them learned that the highest duty of a gentleman was to play the game.

More

Frances Burney, Facebook Friends: 0

Having no intimates, and no one to whom she could confide her feelings, Frances Burney addressed them confidently to Nobody.

More

Bascombe Is Back

Richard Ford's Frank Bascombe is back in a new novel, Let Me Be Frank with You. The only thing John Banville doesn't like is the title.

More

Dublin At Your Feet

A number of pavement lights on the streets of south central Dublin bear the name Hayward Brothers. They were produced by the same family which also gave us a noted Irish actor, singer and travel writer.

More

Tread Softly

Is Thomas Davis on the way to becoming a forgotten hero, yet another of those monumental figures from the past which say to us 'who is it now, who exactly was he?'

More

In Proud And Glorious Memory

It has been suggested that many participants in the First World War sleepwalked into a conflict whose future dimensions they could not at the time imagine. But Italy walked into it wide awake ... having first devoted some thought to who was likely to win.

More

GBS: An Old Man's Dreams

Whatever we have done, or whatever we have failed to do, may pursue us through restless nights for many decades after our conscious minds have forgotten it all.

More

This Won't Hurt

In among the dross, occasional nuggets of gold can be found at the bottoms of the pages of many academic works, the historian of learning Anthony Grafton suggests.

More

Byron in Venice

The great romantic poet found the Adriatic city to be a place where he could indulge both his spiritual and intellectual longings and his more carnal ones.

More

Statue-breaking

When an empire ends and a country becomes independent the imperial soldiers leave - but the visible heritage they have left behind is sometimes found to be disturbing or unacceptable.

More

Wandering Jews

The late historian Tony Judt rose from a poor London Jewish background to become a world-renowned scholar and political thinker. Would he have achieved the same had he been born in Ireland, where his father shipped up in the 1930s?

More

It's the real thing

Colm Toibin's new novel, Nora Webster, has been garnering some very high praise from the critics.

More

Speaka Da Eengleesh

Why is it that so much 'excellence' is to be found in the university sector in the English-speaking world, and so little elsewhere?

More

A Pot of Gold

Paul Laurence Dunbar was considered the most promising African American writer at the turn of the twentieth century. A musical for which he wrote the lyrics was performed in Dublin 110 years ago.

More

Give us your ould Lingo

A spoken word festival, a first for Dublin, comes to the city later this month.

More

Siegfried Lenz: 1926-2014

German novelist Siegfried Lenz, who has died aged 88, was a political collaborator of Günter Grass and a champion of reconciliation between Germany and the countries it had devastated in the Second World War.

More

It's Poetry: Read it Out Loud

A new anthology of poetry for young people with links to through smartphone or tablet to recordings will make the best Christmas present - evvah.

More

Please Mister Postman

The British knew quite a bit in advance about the intentions of the IRB before 1916. One of their most valuable informants was a man called 'Redmond'.

More
New Books

Ireland 1912 - 1922

The story of the widows of 1916’s executed men, and a history of the relatively overlooked 10th (Irish) Division in 1915.

More


Irish Literature

Featuring short stories from Michael J. Farrell, a novel from Gerald Lee, poetry from Nessa O’Mahony and Tramp Press’ recovered novel from 1883, as well as a study of folklore in modern Irish writing.

More

World Literature

A collection of original writing about modern American literature in honour of Ireland’s esteemed expert Ron Callan, and from Rivkah Zim, an exploration of the great contributors to the tradition of prison writing.

More

Irish History & Politics

A new look at the Spanish invasion of Ireland, the Battle of Kinsale and the downfall of the Gaelic insurgent chieftains; a history of University College Dublin’s well-respected Law School; and the latest volume of "Documents on Irish Foreign Policy", concentrating on the years 1948-1951.

More

World History & Politics

A history of the international "Copyright Wars" and "A History of the Book in 100 Books".

More

Irish Culture, Philosophy & Science

A study of masculinity and Irish culture, and an intellectual history of Ireland through the eyes of 12 key writers.

More

World Culture, Philosophy & Science

A book looking at the history of pulp paperbacks and modernism, and a biography of famous psychologist and intellectual Erich Fromm.

More
More New Books ...