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

    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
    Brilliant Youths
    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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    There and Then

    Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado
    Violence begets violence, Darran Anderson reflects. Those immersed in it know it; those who profit from it at a distance know it even more. What his father – that ‘man of few words’ – had given him, he comes to realise, was to have broken the cycle of violence for his own family.
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    Putting it on

    Catherine Kelly
    Katherine O’Dell’s acting fame is based on being Hollywood-Irish, particularly in her role as a nun in the hugely successful ‘Mulligan’s Holy War’. Cinema, of course, trades in yearning and, as her daughter remarks, Katherine could miss the old sod standing in her own kitchen in Dublin.
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    Saturated with Light

    Thomas McCarthy
    Another perfect volume from Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, the poet of sunlight and cloisters. The collection is a joy to read, and a reminder, yet again, that poets are sent to amaze us, to bring us all nearer to the light.
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    Glimmering in the Dark

    Ross Moore
    In his artfully constructed second novel, which displays a fine ear for dialogue and a sharp eye for the workings of relationships, Neil Hegarty has conflated patriarchy, religion, violence and family in a manner that is both exactingly specific and utterly convincing.
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    Moving from the Familiar

    Catherine Phil MacCarthy
    Change, Anne Enright tells us, is chiefly what the short story is about, with something known at the end – or nearly known ‑ that was not known before. Many of Pat O’Connor’s stories begin in a place that is familiar to us but soon move to somewhere strange and unsettling.
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    Shandy, Anyone?

    Tadhg Hoey
    Imagine a ‘Down and Out in Paris and London’ for the 21st century, except that the kitchens and flophouses have become nightclubs and galleries and the immigrant dishwashers and angry chefs have been replaced by vagabond writers and stoned conceptual artists.
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