I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Home Fiction


Sweeney Astray

Breakdown, by Cathy Sweeney, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 218 pp, £18.99, ISBN: 978-1399617789 Modern Times, by Cathy Sweeney, The Stinging Fly Press, 148 pp, €15, ISBN: 978-1906539832 ‘A Story Of Our Time: Notes on Kafka’s The Judgement’, by Cathy Sweeney, The Stinging Fly, Issue 44, Volume 2: Summer 2021 ‘“First Love” by Samuel Beckett’, by Cathy […]

Live Differently

Nothing Special, by Nicole Flattery, Bloomsbury, 230 pp, £16.99, ISBN: 978-1526612120 ‘There was nothing special about our seed,’ says the eponymous narrator, Michael, to his pregnant lover in John McGahern’s 1979 novel The Pornographer, a line echoed, unintentionally or otherwise, in the title of Nicole Flattery’s bracingly provocative debut novel, Nothing Special. Though Flattery’s restrained […]

Westward Dreams

The Passenger, by Cormac McCarthy, Picador, 400 pp, £20, ISBN: 978-1524712396 Stella Maris, by Cormac McCarthy, Picador, 192 pp, £20, ISBN: 978-1447294016 ‘Tell a dream and lose a reader,’ Henry James warned us, but Cormac McCarthy hasn’t been listening. For sixty years he’s been writing novels that, at critical moments, use dreams to spin parables […]

Love in the Dark

A love-across-the-divide story from the North – with a difference

Movements in the Deep

A Japanese mystery that evokes the slippery nature of memory

Cosmic Loneliness

Fictional therapy for the ‘climate grief’ of the ecotrauma epidemic

A Season in Spain

John Banville’s new novel set on the shores of the Bay of Biscay

The Banana Bunch

Vargas Llosa’s study of the overthrow of democracy and reform in Guatemala

Wheeler Dealers

Luke Cassidy’s novel of drug deals, heists and mess-ups along the border

Losing the Plot

A book telling the story of a book that cannot be written – which is written