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

    The Kingdom of Bohemia

    Conor Linnie
    The Kingdom of Bohemia
    Cypriot restaurants, Italian barbers and French cafés gave London’s Soho a cosmopolitan atmosphere in the 1950s that stood out from the pervasive drabness. Dublin too had its artists’ haunts, with the link between the two cities taking particular form in the friendship between painters Lucian Freud and Patrick Swift.
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    The Genius and the Pedant

    Johnny Lyons
    Isaiah Berlin had not only a great gift for political philosophy but an unusual talent for verbal expression: his wartime diplomatic despatches from the US were greatly prized by Churchill. A new book by his editor surprisingly reveals that he was very reluctant to have his work published.
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    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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    The Biggest Question

    Scott Beauchamp
    William Vollmann is fond of tackling large subjects and writing very big books, both fiction and non-fiction. In a two-volume work on climate change he addresses himself to the future inheritors of the earth and tries to explain to them why we did so little to prevent its destruction.
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    Homo Economicus

    John Bradley
    Modern economics often seems wilfully ignorant of the moral context its founder, Adam Smith, brought to the discipline. Smith fully understood the difference between a scientific theory and an investigation into human and societal behaviour. A science of man would always be different from a science of nature.
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