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

    Revivalism and Modern Irish Literature, by Fionntán de Brún

    Once independence was won, the question facing Irish ideologues and leaders was how to make revival real. It was then that the tenuous and tentative nature of the relation between the cultural and the political became clear. Those different spheres would never march in lockstep.
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    Time’s Factory

    Fintan Calpin
    Ali Smith’s novels have always been interested in deviant temporalities and ‘unexpected afterlives’. Her narratives are never singular or isolated, but a gathering of threads and she has also pushed at the formal boundaries between the novel and the essay.
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    Where Do the Dead Go?

    Marie Rooney
    Freud saw ‘Trauerarbeit’, literally grief work, as a work of breaking the bonds that tied the survivor to the deceased – ‘letting go’ and ‘moving on’. Current thinking however would be more open to the idea that while death may end a life, it doesn’t necessarily end a relationship.
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    Deadly Precision

    Amanda Bell
    A particular feature of Rita Ann Higgins’s new collection is the use of juxtaposition: essays appear side-by-side with poems tackling their subject from a different angle. It is fascinating to see this process, with the background which informs a poem laid out in prose form.
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    More than a Small Glow

    Neil McCarthy
    Moya Roddy presents us with poetry that is straight out of the ordinary, a refreshing reminder that not every poem needs to be an epic, complicated, deep analogy of something or another; the kind that make open mics up and down the country the stuff of nightmares.
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    Teenage Kicks

    Susan McKeever
    A group of youngsters from Derry is interested in the same things that many youngsters elsewhere are interested in – sex and drugs and rock ’n’ roll. But this is 1981, Bobby Sands is getting closer to death and to the normal trio of pleasures is added another experience, war.
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    Buried Treasures

    Patricia Craig
    Buried Treasures
    Belfast’s Balmoral Cemetery was once a gloriously dishevelled and spooky playground favoured by the more adventurous among neighbourhood children. But after many complaints it was cleaned up, and it’s now as straight-lined and ‘Protestant-looking’ as anyone could wish.
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    The Botplot

    Kevin Power
    The Botplot
    Ian McEwan’s novels tend to set up a clash between opposing worldviews, with the authorial thumb pressed heavily on one side of the scales. His latest, a humanist exploration of posthumanist ideas, is a hugely pleasurable read, but might the author not have tried to surprise us a little more?
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    The SS’s Bargaining Chips

    David Blake Knox
    The SS’s Bargaining Chips
    As World War Two drew to an end, a number of prominent prisoners of the Germans were moved to South Tyrol in the Italian Alps. Among them were veterans of the Great Escape, two former European prime ministers and a handful of Irishmen who had served in the British army.
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    Struggling towards Citizenship

    Tom Hennigan
    For all Brazil’s great size and demographic weight, and the economic and social progress marked up since the return of democracy in the 1980s, the country continues to be the champion of social inequality and is still struggling to construct true republican values and true citizens.
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