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

Happening, Annie Ernaux

Perhaps the most striking thing about Annie Ernaux’s autofictional account of finding herself pregnant in Rouen in 1963, desperately wanting an illegal abortion but having no idea of how to go about it, is its cool and removed tone.
Mar 1, 2019, 14:56 PM

Who Killed My Father, Édouard Louis

“You’ve changed these past few years… We’ve talked a lot. We’ve explained ourselves.” Eddy’s father becomes proud of his gay son, the writer. He wants to know about the man his son loves. He is no longer afraid Eddy’s politics will get him in trouble, telling him “You're right, what we need is a revolution.”
Mar 1, 2019, 15:25 PM

Show Them a Good Time, Nicole Flattery

It is not the standard quest for love. One woman hears her husband whisper “I love you” while they lie together under crisp ironed sheets as she frets about cockroaches. “She blinked anxiously in the dark, as if trying to identify something. ‘Go easy on that stuff’ she advised him.”
Mar 1, 2019, 17:10 PM

#MeToo is Nothing New

Casey Lawrence
James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’, published nearly a century ago, featured the themes of sexual harassment, both in Leopold Bloom’s possible relationship with the servant Mary Driscoll and in Molly’s adultery with Blazes Boylan, which seems more motivated by his power over her career than affection.
Mar 4, 2019, 18:23 PM

What’s Hecuba to Him?

John Wilson Foster
In his polemic on Brexit, Fintan O’Toole offers a biographical caricature of a political decision as a man ‑ a white man, a middle-aged or elderly man, an angry man, a racist man, finally a straw man. What lies behind the anger and scorn? Could it be a fear of losing something?
Mar 4, 2019, 18:29 PM

Loving and Losing

Ann Kennedy Smith
Éilís Ní Dhuibhne has written a moving memoir of her affair and subsequent marriage with the Swedish folklorist Bo Almqvist, who died in 2013. Life with a divorced man old enough to be her father might not have been the story she would have written for herself, but it led to a long and happy marriage.
Mar 4, 2019, 18:38 PM

Resisting Populism

Breandán Mac Suibhne
Actor, journalist, Fenian activist, historian, victim of police brutality, and, latterly, lawyer and lobbyist Gus Costello wrote with sympathy of the plight of African Americans in the ‘draft riots’ of 1863, a conflict featuring Irishmen on both sides, as police protectors and as members of the mob.
Mar 4, 2019, 18:43 PM

Betrayal as an Act of Faith

Sean Sheehan
Gerard Manley Hopkins’s rejection of Anglicanism to seek truth in the teachings of the Roman church shared many features with another ‘betrayal’ which happened seventy years later, that of the so-called Cambridge spies, who abandoned capitalism for the ‘alien creed’ of communism.
Mar 4, 2019, 18:51 PM

A Little More Than Religion

Mary Jones
Catholic and Protestant are routinely employed in Northern Ireland as labels denoting ethno-nationalist divisions which date back centuries. But the divisions have little enough to do with theology, deriving more from distinct relations to land, power and political legitimacy.
Mar 4, 2019, 18:56 PM

The Fire Next Time?

George O’Brien
When Norman Mailer, James Baldwin, and Hunter S Thompson were in their prime a type of writing flourished that called to account the complacencies and evasions of public life. Since the Reagan years, it seems, it’s been bedtime for gonzo. But now Ben Fountain renews our hope.
Mar 4, 2019, 19:02 PM

Freezing and Melting

Patricia Craig
More women than you might think have seen fit over the centuries to wander out, in good thick skirts or other climate-appropriate attire in the most far-flung of places. Most of the rest of us have preferred to stay at home, cosy and safe, reading of the savage beasts and strange peoples they encountered.
Mar 4, 2019, 19:33 PM

Believe in the Movement

Marc Mulholland
The young Eric Hobsbawm was intoxicated by the ‘stern discipline’ the revolutionary organisation demanded of its adherents. ‘Ground yourself in Leninism,’ he admonished himself in his diary. The communist militant had to be ‘totally unscrupulous and outrageously flexible’.
Mar 4, 2019, 19:39 PM

Directions to the Undiscovered Country

Paul O’Mahoney
We may, rather prosaically, describe death as an adverse health outcome. Or we may prefer to think the deceased has gone on the way of truth, ‘ar shlí na fírinne’. Whichever view we embrace, it’s something that will happen to us all.
Mar 4, 2019, 19:47 PM

An Unconventional Haunting

Megan DeMatteo
The elderly illustrator Daniele is called from his work on a deluxe edition of a Henry James ghost story to go to his childhood home in Naples and temporarily babysit his four-year-old grandson, the only flesh-and-blood creature that can haunt with the same relentless audacity as an actual ghost.
Mar 6, 2019, 07:38 AM

The Patriot Game

John Paul Newman
Far-right parties in formerly communist Europe tend to both inflate their opponents’ links with the communist period and their own links with the historical political blocs of the pre-communist period. It is a tendentious game whose odds are always stacked in favour of the right.
Mar 6, 2019, 07:43 AM

Symphony in Blue

Declan O’Driscoll
Yelena Moskovich’s new novel develops depth and passion as it progresses, while never losing a sense of humour. All its early connections develop and entwine. No character is central, because the novel is multi-voiced and unconcerned about the insistence of plot.
Mar 6, 2019, 07:49 AM

A Marlowe from Mayo

Pauline Hall
In the rural Ireland of the 1920s memories of the War of Independence and Civil War are still strong. The Garda Síochána stands at the forefront of efforts to normalise life in a traumatised society, yet they too, both as individuals and as a force, have problems winning trust.
Mar 6, 2019, 07:54 AM

The Deep Music of the World

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Michelle O’Sullivan’s three collections, but especially this new one, will convince many that her work should find its way to attentive readers, who it is hoped will not try to fit her into any boxes other than the big one marked ‘poets’, who will appreciate her skill with language and her alertness to the world’s music.
Mar 6, 2019, 08:00 AM

Big and Little Lies

Henry Patterson
A new book argues that those who criticise the Good Friday Agreement for not creating a framework for dealing with the past or for not addressing the deep divide in the North, are missing the fundamental purpose of the accord, which was simply to deliver an end to violence.
Mar 6, 2019, 08:05 AM

Active Recovery

Marie Rooney
We first meet the author when he is twenty-eight, an aspiring writer resigned to suffering a bout of depression every summer since his mother’s death nine years earlier. He is diagnosed as bipolar but is reluctant to accept this, a position in which he is encouraged by a therapist.
Mar 6, 2019, 08:10 AM