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

    The Genius and the Pedant

    Johnny Lyons
    Isaiah Berlin had not only a great gift for political philosophy but an unusual talent for verbal expression: his wartime diplomatic despatches from the US were greatly prized by Churchill. A new book by his editor surprisingly reveals that he was very reluctant to have his work published.
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    Not at Rest

    Magdalena Kay
    Not at Rest
    The mind of Derek Mahon is not, he assures us, one that can be ‘set at rest’. But would we wish it to be? Would we want him free of tension and contradiction and impossible desire? One might as well wish for a placid elder Yeats or a young Auden free of guilt and fear.
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    Talismans

    Graham Good
    The essayist Chris Arthur grew up in Northern Ireland, where his father considered himself to be of British nationality. Physical absence from the island may have helped him create an Irish identity beyond the Catholic/Protestant duopoly. It is an identity based not on tribe but on landscape, place and memory.
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    The Biggest Question

    Scott Beauchamp
    William Vollmann is fond of tackling large subjects and writing very big books, both fiction and non-fiction. In a two-volume work on climate change he addresses himself to the future inheritors of the earth and tries to explain to them why we did so little to prevent its destruction.
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    Alternative Facts

    Linda Anderson
    Tracey Iceton, author of a projected trilogy of ‘Troubles’ novels, claims her work, and in particular her portrayal of a woman IRA volunteer, avoids the stereotypes which disfigured previous examples of the genre. These claims of originality and an ethical approach cannot, however, stand much scrutiny.
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    Development Arrested

    Dan A O’Brien
    The Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga’s first novel was a major success, although she was accused by reviewers at home of ‘fouling her own nest’. Her latest novel uses the broken female body as a metaphor to explore the collapse of her country’s body politic.
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    Something To Declare

    Wendy Graham
    Something To Declare
    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    Gazing Heavenwards

    Gerard Smyth
    The challenge in our secular age for a poet engaging with the spiritual and religious is how to sound the authentic note. To this end James Harpur fetches images from the religious art and symbolism of the past, renewing and refreshing them in his language of ‘pure clear words’.
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