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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

Succeeding in Solitude

Luke Warde
In 2014, the French writer Sylvain Tesson fell some ten metres while trying to scale the side of a friend’s home. The accident not only left him with lasting physical ailments; it also transformed him from enthusiastic global tourist to philosopher and aesthete of solitude.
Jul 2, 2020, 11:39 AM
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Roads Both Taken

Sean Sheehan
Novelist William Gibson likes to throw you into the narrative and semiotic deep end of two worlds in which history has bifurcated. Learning to navigate involves slow reading and getting your head around new concepts and associated lexicons, but it is worth the effort.
Jul 2, 2020, 11:44 AM
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The Political Anatomy of a Crime

Alice Stevens
Every conflict in Latin America is, at the heart of it, about land. Land tenure is vital in a region where such a large portion of the population is comprised of small farmers. Without much of a social safety net, land ownership is often the only security against starvation.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:00 PM
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The Struggles of Old Zeus

Gerald Dawe
Is art predicated upon the artist’s psychology? Is the cost of high achievement inevitably a compromise with mental health and the destruction of human bonds? Robert Lowell believed his creativity was inevitably tied to feelings of drowning, that there was some ‘flaw in the motor’.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:06 PM
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The White Raven

Pádraig Murphy
Carl Schmitt, close to the authoritarians von Schleicher and von Papen, may have thought he would become indispensable in the new Germany as a useful legal expert. But Hitler, once in power, cared nothing for its legal basis, and still less for the intellectuals who trafficked in such matters.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:14 PM
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The China in Us

Alena Dvořáková
Is ‘pragmatism’ toward China really a permission Europeans give themselves to revert to uses of power that are an inherent part of European history? Can the economic exploitation that produces clusters of infection in meat-processing plants and the suicides at Foxconn factories be linked?
Jul 2, 2020, 12:47 PM
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You Lose Again

George O’Brien
If country music is three chords and the truth, that truth seems to be couched in a comprehensive, many-shaded rhetoric of subjection, filled with stories of misguided departures, wrong turnings, the weakness of the flesh and, especially, how bad it hurts to feel alone.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:54 PM
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A Modern Utopian

Bryan Fanning
Dominic Cummings favours government guided by experts trained in mathematics and scientific thinking. This idea of epistocracy, rule by those who know, is emerging at a time when the right no longer trusts global free markets and politics have considerably dumbed down.
Jul 2, 2020, 13:06 PM
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The Unknown Eileen

Martin Tyrrell
Had Eileen O’Shaughnessy not taken up with George Orwell, she might have found success, if not fame, in her own right, possibly as an academic or a child psychologist. Her loss was to be his gain, something neither he nor most of his biographers have properly taken on board.
Jul 2, 2020, 13:14 PM
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Silver Linings

Patricia Craig
Michele Roberts, the acclaimed author of twenty-five books, was rather put out when her new novel was rejected. For a year, she wrote a diary as an exercise in recuperation. The result is more joyous than jaundiced, something bright and exhilarating wrested from discomposure and dismay.
Jul 2, 2020, 13:18 PM
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Narratives Real and Surreal

Tim Murphy
The poems in Miriam Gamble’s new collection show her to be a truly imaginative writer: in ‘Plume’, the creamy-white heads of meadowsweet are compared to the ‘creamy wigs’ of the 18th century, to ‘the shape of Scotland’, and to fat gathered in the top of old-school milk bottles.
Jul 2, 2020, 13:51 PM
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Death By Water

Ross Moore
As poet laureate of Amsterdam, Menno Wigman took part in a scheme to memorialise in verse those in the city who had died alone. It seems an apt scheme for a poet whose work is marked by a particularly humane and democratic sensibility.
Jul 2, 2020, 13:59 PM
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Colour Coding

Brian Cosgrove
In Cauvery Madhavan’s novel, May Twomey and her brother Gerry are the ‘Anglo-Indian’ descendants of an Irish soldier in the British army. A little like the Anglo-Irish – neither one thing nor the other – they feel somewhat outside society, once not white enough and now not brown enough.
Jul 2, 2020, 22:33 PM
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Not Gone Away

Peter Hain
While many commentators would argue that Sinn Féin should be awarded the prize for actually advancing traditional republican objectives over recent decades, the ‘purists’ or ‘dissidents’ who call them traitors are still with us. And will be for some time to come, a new study argues.
Jul 3, 2020, 07:04 AM
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Into the West

Susan McKeever
From Killary to Barna, Salthill to Inisbofin, a collection of twenty short stories gathered from Galway city and county evokes the unique spirit, atmosphere and salty tang of the western city and county perched on the windswept edge of the Atlantic.
Jul 3, 2020, 07:11 AM
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Ordinary Romance

Brenna Katz Clarke
Anne Tyler’s twenty-third novel is her shortest to date, a concerto rather than a symphony, she has conceded. Her hero, brought up in a chaotic family, values order and routine and thinks social contact unimportant, but he discovers that it is more important than he thought.
Jul 3, 2020, 07:20 AM
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Great Upheavals, Small Triumphs

Amanda Bell
John McAuliffe’s work is often associated with domestic spaces. In his new collection a number of poems are focused on gardens and interiors, and seem wary about what is going on elsewhere - even a robin in the garden, ‘tussling with something … small for practice’.
Jul 3, 2020, 07:28 AM
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A World of Tears

Leanne Ogasawara
The Dionysian horde that Nietzsche surely imagined battering the walls of the besieged city of Wörth in 1870 was the same horde that devastated Europe in the Thirty Years War in Rubens’s time. One war begets another, taking Europeans all the way back to the walls of Troy.
Jul 3, 2020, 08:01 AM
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A Sharp Eye in the Wild

Seán Lysaght
Writing with passion and precision, the young naturalist Dara McAnulty combines an astonishingly high and precise level of knowledge about wildlife with a passion for the educative potential of discovering, through experience, how we fit into the natural world.
Jul 3, 2020, 08:05 AM
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The European Way

Fionn Ó Gráda
The last volume of Liam Mac Cóil’s seventeenth century historical trilogy brings to life a period in Irish history when its Gaelic leaders had allied with supporters in Spain and Rome in the hope of forging a future in which Ireland would cease to be a colony of its powerful neighbour.
Jul 3, 2020, 12:09 PM
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