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

    Exit from Metroland

    Giles Newington
    The plain-speaking, undeceived tone of Julian Barnes’s narrators, together with his suburban settings, can make him seem a quintessentially English writer. Normally, however, the gradually revealed unreliability of these narrators serves to subvert the assumptions of the middle class world.
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    The Other Side of the Sky

    Luke Gibbons
    For some it is only a matter of time before the digital world catches up with its human creators, but for Wittgenstein it was a matter of principle that computer codes could never acquire the nuances and complexity of ordinary language, let alone the resonances of literature.
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    Richard Murphy 1927-2018

    Benjamin Keatinge
    With the death of Richard Murphy on January 30th, 2018, Ireland lost one of its greatest poets, the creator, in the words of fellow practitioner Peter Sirr, of ‘unforgettable music’.
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    Becoming the Stranger

    Julia O’Mahony
    As an editor, Toni Morrison resisted the dictum that one cannot “sell books on both sides of the street”. As a novelist, she attempts to write non-colourist literature about black people, to resist the dehumanising effect of the fetishisation of race.
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    An Eye for the Gewgaws

    Harry Clifton
    Dennis O’Driscoll was his generation’s leading man of letters. He assimilated the mode and manner of translated Eastern European poetry and applied it to the domestic and professional realities of Ireland. In his finest poems, the decadence and morbidity of the age is lifted beyond itself.
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    Facts, After-facts and Fakes

    Mary O’Donnell
    Tara Bergin’s second collection displays an intellectually adroit interplay between disciplines not often evident in Anglophone poetry. Bergin excels at seeing patterns and connections; her poems challenge us to reconsider everything, trust nothing, and treat the past as a series of riddles.
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    Life As It Flees

    Gerard Dawe
    A sense of pleasure and ‘revels’ plays through much of Thom Gunn’s poetry, from the famous image of the motorcyclist in ‘On the Move’ to Elvis Presley’s sexuality. While sex, drugs and rock and roll all feature in Selected Poems, there really isn’t a sense of excess.
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    An Easy Conscience

    Aidan O’Malley
    An Easy Conscience
    Religion, Hubert Butler believed, should be a place of truth-telling rather than a mere symbol of decorousness and respectability. Croatia’s Cardinal Stepinac felt he had nothing to be ashamed of in his record on the forcible conversion of orthodox Serbs during World War Two. Butler disagreed.
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    Rediscovered Territory

    Tim Groenland
    Rediscovered Territory
    In a reimagined continuation of the Huckleberry Finn story, Huck is a reluctant witness to the march of ‘sivilization’ as it rampages across America. His relentlessly unheroic perspective and humanitarian pragmatism offer a partial antidote to the warlike machinations of his compatriots.
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    Instead of Blood

    Ian Doherty
    Instead of Blood
    In Northern Ireland in 1972, 470 people were killed, 1,853 bombs were planted and 18,819 kilos of explosives found. Some thought a United Ireland was close, others a civil war. At the same time the Dublin and London governments were working diligently with moderate politicians for a settlement.
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