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

    Not at Rest

    Magdalena Kay
    Not at Rest
    The mind of Derek Mahon is not, he assures us, one that can be ‘set at rest’. But would we wish it to be? Would we want him free of tension and contradiction and impossible desire? One might as well wish for a placid elder Yeats or a young Auden free of guilt and fear.
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    Talismans

    Graham Good
    The essayist Chris Arthur grew up in Northern Ireland, where his father considered himself to be of British nationality. Physical absence from the island may have helped him create an Irish identity beyond the Catholic/Protestant duopoly. It is an identity based not on tribe but on landscape, place and memory.
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    At Least Two Irelands

    Michael O’Loughlin
    There has been a welcome explosion of novels by young Irish women, but they often seem strangely conventional in form and content. Emer Martin cannot be accused of that. It is her unconventionality, perhaps, that has led to her curious invisibility at the forefront of Irish literature.
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    Narrative Joyride

    Afric McGlinchey
    In a new collection of short stories, Nuala O’Connor, already known as a novelist and poet, shows what she can do in another form. Secrets, skeletons and the grey areas of morality are her specialty. She writes without a vestige of sentimentality, while still creating a lump-in-the-throat reaction.
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    Surveying the Wreckage

    Dick Edelstein
    As both a global writer and an Irish poet, a noteworthy aspect of Jo Burns’s poetry is, rather than the way she views the world, how the world views her. Living at the margins of the English language, with German offspring and spouse, her erudite idiolect can be spiced with fractured syntax or diced diction.
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    Not the Cartographer of Guilt

    Mark Wasserman
    Anyone who has had the pleasure of hearing Neil McCarthy read aloud tends to remember the experience. Equal parts showman and shaman, he stalks the stage, reciting his work from memory, pouring forth both wit and wonder. On the page, his voice is not just captured but deepened.
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    Skimming the Cream off the Orphans’ Milk

    Pauline Hall
    Gerald O’Donovan left the priesthood due to strained relations with his conservative and philistine bishop. In his novel about the fortunes of the provincial middle class Curtin sisters, he indicts late Victorian Catholic values, warped by the privileging of religious vocations over marriage.
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    Alternative Facts

    Linda Anderson
    Tracey Iceton, author of a projected trilogy of ‘Troubles’ novels, claims her work, and in particular her portrayal of a woman IRA volunteer, avoids the stereotypes which disfigured previous examples of the genre. These claims of originality and an ethical approach cannot, however, stand much scrutiny.
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    Gender in Conflict

    Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado
    Anna Burns’s new novel explores the impact in the Northern Ireland of the 1970s of a level of violence that has become ordinary and a society where gendered violence is everywhere but remains unacknowledged in a context where ‘huge things, physical, noisy things’ happen on a daily or hourly basis.
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    Midlands Enlightenment

    Fergus O’Ferrall
    The eighteenth century in Ireland saw the vigorous transfer of literary objects and ideas between Castle Forbes, Edgeworthstown House, and other ‘big houses’ such as Charleville Forest in Co Offaly. Co Longford in particular seems to have been especially rich in literary life at this time.
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