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

The Perfect Spy

John Mulqueen
Working undercover for Moscow in 1930s China, Richard Sorge had to drink cocktails, dance with elegant women and eat in the finest restaurants, affording him a different experience from his previous secret work among dockers and miners in Germany. But he took to it like a duck to water.
Oct 2, 2019, 12:09 PM

In Himself an Entire People

Seamus Deane
Charles de Gaulle was a traditional Catholic Christian. He rarely spoke of or even mentioned God but rarely failed to speak instead of France, the great stained-glass rose window in which the divine light had glowed through the centuries in radiance or in sombre melancholy.
Oct 2, 2018, 18:26 PM

Something To Declare

Wendy Graham
Gilbert and Sullivan producer Richard D’Oyly Carte offered to sponsor Oscar Wilde’s American tour, hoping to drum up publicity for the comic opera Patience. The representative stock aesthete left London an understudy for the leaders of the aesthetic movement, returning a celebrity in his own right.
Oct 2, 2018, 18:20 PM

Man of Marble

Maurice Earls
From 1820 to 1850, the sculptor John Hogan’s most productive period, he was largely based in Rome. Yet despite living abroad he was without question, and especially in terms of his subject matter and patrons – chiefly the Irish bourgeoisie and Catholic church – an Irish artist.
Oct 2, 2018, 18:08 PM

Reclaiming Democracy

John Fanning
The internet is the most abundantly stocked pantry of grievance in the history of mankind, its users under constant surveillance. What future can there be for democracy if politics becomes a question of detailed statistical analysis and precisely targeted messages rather than ideas?
Oct 2, 2018, 17:43 PM

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.
Oct 2, 2018, 17:39 PM

Justice Withheld

Ian Doherty
Anti-Catholic riots in London in 1780 led to 1,000 deaths. It would be almost another fifty years before equality of citizenship was finally established, the brilliant campaigning of O’Connell and the determination of Wellington finally overcoming the hysterical opposition of the king.
Oct 2, 2018, 17:31 PM

Freedom From the Bind

Megan DeMatteo
Domenico Starnone’s novel ‘Ties’ explores the break-up of a marriage from multiple perspectives, casting some doubt on the notion that self-realisation can easily be found in a new relationship. It is also particularly interesting because of its relationship to the work of Elena Ferrante.
Oct 2, 2018, 17:26 PM

Tales from the Wardrobe

John Mulqueen
If historian Mark Mazower’s father was a quiet man, his reticence was nothing compared to his father’s. Starting from some diaries found in a wardrobe, Mazower has traced an epic and often tragic family history that played out against the turmoil and violence of the early twentieth century.
Oct 2, 2018, 17:16 PM

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.
Oct 2, 2018, 16:53 PM

Death in the Novel

Eamon Maher
With the waning of religious faith and practice in Ireland, the hope of eternal salvation is no longer available to a large portion of the population. A new study of the theme of death in the Irish novel takes us from a world saturated by religious ritual to one which mostly wishes just to forget the past.
Oct 2, 2018, 16:31 PM

In A Hard School

Susan McKay
Emilie Pine’s father had what she has called ‘an unusual approach to parenting’, consisting of neglect of his duties in favour of the pursuit of his first love, alcohol. Pine survived this upbringing and has now written a wonderful, compassionate book about her and her family’s life and travails.
Oct 2, 2018, 16:11 PM

Get Down from There

Alice Lyons
In her native Poland Olga Tokarczuk has the enviable position of being an author of books seriously engaged with ideas, politics and history who enjoys a wide readership, now steadily and deservedly growing internationally.
Oct 2, 2018, 16:06 PM

Lean In And Listen

Anne Tannam
Martina Evans’s new volume consists of two dramatic monologues featuring the voices of two women from the War of Independence and Civil War periods. Though the monologuists never meet, their stories are fused through the featuring of a third character, Cumann na mBan member Eileen Murphy.
Oct 2, 2018, 15:54 PM

Dazzled by Words

Jean O’Brien
The intermingling of the religious with everyday life, and an ease with it, is evident throughout Noel Monahan’s latest collection. Religious markers are mentioned casually punctuating the seasons, with the yellow whin bushes blooming at Easter, and following the rhythms of everyday life.
Oct 2, 2018, 15:46 PM

A Profound Poetic Pilgrimage

Pól Ó Muirí
John F Deane is a poet who lives history, who breathes at one with the world around him. He reminds the reader that we live only for a short while on this rock in space but that that time is precious and profound. We are all dear pilgrims – whether we realise it or not.
Oct 2, 2018, 15:40 PM