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

    Ding Dong, the Witch Might Be Dead

    Alena Dvorakova
    Ding Dong, the Witch Might Be Dead
    The Testaments is undeniably a testament to Margaret Atwood’s literary mastery. She has produced the modern equivalent of a traditional fairy tale – a young adult fantasy – but one that is beautifully written, cleverly plotted and only rarely suffers from didacticism. One might wonder, however, if it is entirely proper for a young rebel to believe in fairy tales.
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    IRELAND IN THE EUROPEAN EYE, GISELA HOLFTER AND BETTINA MIGGE (EDS)

    A former minister for enterprise famously suggested that while Ireland was physically closer to Berlin it was spiritually, and economically, closer to Boston. As our neighbouring island prepares to push off into the North Atlantic, it is worth asking if this is still a tenable orientation for the state.
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    FIVE IRISH WOMEN, BY EMER NOLAN

    The following is an extract from Emer Nolan’s Five Irish Women: The second republic, 1960-2016, published this month by Manchester University Press.
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    The Thieves’ International

    Sean Byrne

    Corruption indices which place countries like the UK and Luxembourg near the virtuous top while Uzbekistan and South Sudan are at the bottom are misleading. It is the financial and legal systems of the UK and Luxembourg that help the kleptocrats of Uzbekistan and South Sudan steal from their people.


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    Wakey, wakey

    Colin O’Sullivan
    John W Sexton wants you to ‘wake for the first time’. That is the gauntlet-throw-down of his verse – poems which constantly make you invest time and thought, inverting thoughts and thought patterns and opening you to the idea of ‘thinking yourself into being’.
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    The Valley of Tears

    Brendan Lowe
    Comfort and security are illusory in Frank McGuinness’s new poetry collection. They are always weighed down by the fears that are kept to hand. In ‘A Dream About My Father’, the dream is of the father’s death. Comfort, community, family all collapse and vanish.
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    Wartime Voices

    Gerald Dawe
    After the deluge of books, documentaries, exhibitions, conferences and  commemorations marking the course of the First World War, there is something affirming in returning to the texts of poems written just before, during and somewhat after that cataclysmic event.
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    Love Your Hair

    Amanda Bell
    Hair – rather than skin colour –can be seen as the principal signifier of race and has the power to confer classification as black or not. The story of how ‘treatments’ for taming black hair were developed by black entrepreneurs is a depressingly familiar capitalist narrative.
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    Stasis in Darkness

    Daniel Fraser
    In Ingeborg Bachmann’s newly reissued novel ‘Malina’, questions of existence, and the relation of the one who writes to what is written, are continually at play. This is not to say that it is not ‘serious’, rather that its effects are often achieved through parody, laughter, allusion and humour.
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    Waiting for Dilly

    Declan O’Driscoll
    In Kevin Barry’s new novel two drug-dealers reminisce about their shared past in a stylised, expletive-filled Hiberno-English. The language used to disentangle their characters and circumstances is wildly expressive and full of observations and inflections that are unexpected and perfectly placed.
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