Echoes from the Cistern

    Thomas McCarthy
    There is nothing tentative, or merely suggestive, in Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s new collection. Her academic training is outraged by vagueness, so that the poems grab a firm hold of their subject-matter; the work is pre-meditated, never a pen shuffling in the hope of inspiration.
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    Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang

    Pauline Hall
    The first of a series of essays on fictions inspired by the 1916 Easter Rising looks at a work by Raymond Queneau, a French disciple of Joyce whose total experience of Ireland, he has admitted was a short stopover at Shannon Airport on the way to the United States.
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    World Without End

    Lia Mills
    World Without End
    Marilynne Robinson’s three Gilead novels amount to a masterclass in perspective and in the use of telling detail to construct character and story. Part of their extraordinary power is their ability to return to the same events with a fresh point of view, without ever feeling repetitive.
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    The Rolling English Road

    Andrew Lees
    The Rolling English Road
    Jim Phelan, born in the last decade of the nineteenth century in Inchicore in Dublin, was condemned to death for murder, served a long sentence in various prisons and on his release became a tramp, a novelist and a writer and broadcaster on the traditions of tramps and gypsies.
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    Working Class Heroes

    Seamus O’Mahony
    Working Class Heroes
    The ghosted autobiography of Roy Keane and a biography of England’s 1966 World Cup golden boy Bobby Moore illustrate hugely contrasting personalities, but also the enormous changes that have come over the culture of the beautiful game during the last fifty years.
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    I am an automobile

    Calista McRae
    A new study argues that John Berryman’s poetry is far more than id, psychosis, and despair, bringing out Berryman’s intelligence and his careful thinking about the modern world, which has often been ignored in favour of accounts that portray a wild, whisky-inspired genius
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    Laughing Matters

    James Moran
    The outstanding English comic novelist of his generation, David Lodge has managed to extract humour in book after book from two main subjects: the competitiveness and egoism of academic life and the follies of the Catholic Church’s attempts to instruct its flock on how to conduct their sex lives.
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    How to be a Dub

    Tom Inglis
    Is it sufficient to have been born in the capital to be a true Dub? What if your parents and grandparents were born there too, but on the middle class southside? Would this let you in or do you have to have been born within the sound of the Hill 16 roar and talk like dis?
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    News from the Glen

    Proinsias Ó Drisceoil
    The reissue of an ‘imaginative biography’ which first appeared in 1963 and which was written in the now defunct Tipperary Irish dialect reminds us of a time when Irish-language publishing was moving away from accounts of Gaeltacht life and beginning to favour modernism.
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    The King’s Man

    Deirdre Serjeantson
    Walter Quin was a Dubliner who became attached to the Scottish and later English court of King James VI and I. He devoted his considerable learning and poetic talent to writing ingenious verse in support of his master’s claim to unite the kingdoms of both countries.
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