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

    Getting Away

    Caitriona Clear
    A necessary literary device to throw characters together in unfamiliar settings, communal family/friend away-events feature a lot in genre and popular fiction. If fiction teaches us anything it is that we should steer well clear of attempting anything similar in real life.
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    Into Us to Keep

    Magdalena Kay
    Seamus Heaney’s Virgil translation was one of a number of posthumous publications, but now it seems there is no more to come. As Auden wrote in memory of Yeats, the poet has become his admirers. And of course there are the poems, on offer here in a new selection by Heaney’s family.
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    Pontifex

    Anna Benn
    For Michael, the engineer protagonist of Adrian Duncan’s new novel, lovers’ entwined arms are a reminder of the connections of girders on a suspension bridge. For readers sated with sensitive literary heroes, Duncan analytical and oblique approach to relationships could come as a relief.
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    Daddy’s Girl

    David O’Connor
    Laura wants to be a big-time sharp-talking actress like those in the ’40s films noirs she watched with her father. She has loads of parts in her: ‘easy-to-see parts and long forgotten parts and parts I encounter in my problematic dreams. I have shadow parts. They do not wish me well.’
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    The Ring of Truth

    Theo Dorgan
    There are things you ‘know for a fact’ but perhaps cannot prove. Sometimes the frustration of such situations can drive a journalist to turn to fiction, as Frank Connolly has done with a compelling story set against the background of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings of 1974.
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    Other Voices

    Mícheál Ó hAodha

    Where are the working people and the working class experience reflected in Ireland’s artistic and cultural sphere? Where are the struggles of those who have no permanent roof over their head and who are shunted from one room to another described?

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    A Gratuitous Assault

    Maureen O’Connor
    A Gratuitous Assault
    Because Edna O’Brien’s family had a nice enough house and the children got educated, her circumstances couldn’t have been all that bad, a ‘New Yorker’ profile argues. This betrays a startling ignorance of the economic, social and ideological conditions of mid-twentieth-century Ireland.
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    Brilliant Youths

    Joseph Leahy
    The key to understanding the appeal of Sally Rooney’s fiction lies in her ability to conjure generational concerns that are instantly recognisable but still transcend cliché. This is harder than it sounds: cliché forms at an accelerated rate in our hyper-saturated media environment.
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    The Capital of Modernity

    Terence Killeen
    When James Joyce chose exile he opted not for England, where the Irish writer was an entertainer, but Paris, the epicentre of a ‘Europe’ that was utterly different from the Anglo-Irish world in which he had grown up, a world full of possibilities, openness and experiment.
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    Blue Notes

    Catherine Kelly
    Cathy Sweeney’s characters are sometimes bored to death but the stories they inhabit are never boring. Sweeney’s writing offers neither solutions nor relief. Instead, her stories are like splinters, getting under your fingernails and leaving little bloody marks.
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