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

Into the West

Susan McKeever
From Killary to Barna, Salthill to Inisbofin, a collection of twenty short stories gathered from Galway city and county evokes the unique spirit, atmosphere and salty tang of the western city and county perched on the windswept edge of the Atlantic.
Jul 3, 2020, 07:11 AM

Not Gone Away

Peter Hain
While many commentators would argue that Sinn Féin should be awarded the prize for actually advancing traditional republican objectives over recent decades, the ‘purists’ or ‘dissidents’ who call them traitors are still with us. And will be for some time to come, a new study argues.
Jul 3, 2020, 07:04 AM

Colour Coding

Brian Cosgrove
In Cauvery Madhavan’s novel, May Twomey and her brother Gerry are the ‘Anglo-Indian’ descendants of an Irish soldier in the British army. A little like the Anglo-Irish – neither one thing nor the other – they feel somewhat outside society, once not white enough and now not brown enough.
Jul 2, 2020, 22:33 PM

Death By Water

Ross Moore
As poet laureate of Amsterdam, Menno Wigman took part in a scheme to memorialise in verse those in the city who had died alone. It seems an apt scheme for a poet whose work is marked by a particularly humane and democratic sensibility.
Jul 2, 2020, 13:59 PM

Narratives Real and Surreal

Tim Murphy
The poems in Miriam Gamble’s new collection show her to be a truly imaginative writer: in ‘Plume’, the creamy-white heads of meadowsweet are compared to the ‘creamy wigs’ of the 18th century, to ‘the shape of Scotland’, and to fat gathered in the top of old-school milk bottles.
Jul 2, 2020, 13:51 PM

Silver Linings

Patricia Craig
Michele Roberts, the acclaimed author of twenty-five books, was rather put out when her new novel was rejected. For a year, she wrote a diary as an exercise in recuperation. The result is more joyous than jaundiced, something bright and exhilarating wrested from discomposure and dismay.
Jul 2, 2020, 13:18 PM

The Unknown Eileen

Martin Tyrrell
Had Eileen O’Shaughnessy not taken up with George Orwell, she might have found success, if not fame, in her own right, possibly as an academic or a child psychologist. Her loss was to be his gain, something neither he nor most of his biographers have properly taken on board.
Jul 2, 2020, 13:14 PM

A Modern Utopian

Bryan Fanning
Dominic Cummings favours government guided by experts trained in mathematics and scientific thinking. This idea of epistocracy, rule by those who know, is emerging at a time when the right no longer trusts global free markets and politics have considerably dumbed down.
Jul 2, 2020, 13:06 PM

You Lose Again

George O’Brien
If country music is three chords and the truth, that truth seems to be couched in a comprehensive, many-shaded rhetoric of subjection, filled with stories of misguided departures, wrong turnings, the weakness of the flesh and, especially, how bad it hurts to feel alone.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:54 PM

The China in Us

Alena Dvořáková
Is ‘pragmatism’ toward China really a permission Europeans give themselves to revert to uses of power that are an inherent part of European history? Can the economic exploitation that produces clusters of infection in meat-processing plants and the suicides at Foxconn factories be linked?
Jul 2, 2020, 12:47 PM

The White Raven

Pádraig Murphy
Carl Schmitt, close to the authoritarians von Schleicher and von Papen, may have thought he would become indispensable in the new Germany as a useful legal expert. But Hitler, once in power, cared nothing for its legal basis, and still less for the intellectuals who trafficked in such matters.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:14 PM

The Struggles of Old Zeus

Gerald Dawe
Is art predicated upon the artist’s psychology? Is the cost of high achievement inevitably a compromise with mental health and the destruction of human bonds? Robert Lowell believed his creativity was inevitably tied to feelings of drowning, that there was some ‘flaw in the motor’.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:06 PM

The Political Anatomy of a Crime

Alice Stevens
Every conflict in Latin America is, at the heart of it, about land. Land tenure is vital in a region where such a large portion of the population is comprised of small farmers. Without much of a social safety net, land ownership is often the only security against starvation.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:00 PM

Freedom’s Just Another Word

Joe Cleary
There is a good deal of evidence to suggest that rock music was foundationally both socially liberal and economically neoliberal from the mid-70s onwards. The social liberalism may have been most evident in the music, the neoliberalism in the media infrastructures that carried it.
Jul 2, 2020, 11:53 AM

Roads Both Taken

Sean Sheehan
Novelist William Gibson likes to throw you into the narrative and semiotic deep end of two worlds in which history has bifurcated. Learning to navigate involves slow reading and getting your head around new concepts and associated lexicons, but it is worth the effort.
Jul 2, 2020, 11:44 AM

Succeeding in Solitude

Luke Warde
In 2014, the French writer Sylvain Tesson fell some ten metres while trying to scale the side of a friend’s home. The accident not only left him with lasting physical ailments; it also transformed him from enthusiastic global tourist to philosopher and aesthete of solitude.
Jul 2, 2020, 11:39 AM

Light, Dark

Neil Hegarty
In the world of Baret Magarian’s short stories, the consumption and commodification of late capitalism are examined coldly and found wanting. His characters crave worldly success, but there is a lesson to be learned: such contexts of luxury are invariably revealed as unstable.
Jun 3, 2020, 18:58 PM

The Hard Life

Ann Kennedy Smith
When he agreed to allow her to be his biographer Samuel Beckett told Deirdre Bair that his friends would help her and his enemies would also surely seek her out. She was to find that while Beckett was honourable if elusive, it could be hard to tell his friends and enemies apart.
Jun 2, 2020, 19:06 PM

Talk about a Revolution

Kevin Power
Fresh from Leaving Cert English, I wondered why so many of my university lecturers seemed more interested in overturning bourgeois liberalism than in reading novels. If what you really wanted was to be a revolutionary, why had you become a professor of English?
Jun 2, 2020, 19:01 PM

Time to Strike Out?

Rory Montgomery
That the EU functions as well as it does is an everyday miracle, made possible by an ingrained culture of compromise and commitment to ‘a shared Europe’. But from a basis of cautious pragmatism, there have also been times when the Union has deemed it essential to take a major step forward.
Jun 2, 2020, 18:53 PM