John F Deane is a poet who lives history, who breathes at one with the world around him. He reminds the reader that we live only for a short while on this rock in space but that that time is precious and profound. We are all dear pilgrims – whether we realise it or not.
The intermingling of the religious with everyday life, and an ease with it, is evident throughout Noel Monahan’s latest collection. Religious markers are mentioned casually punctuating the seasons, with the yellow whin bushes blooming at Easter, and following the rhythms of everyday life.
Martina Evans’s new volume consists of two dramatic monologues featuring the voices of two women from the War of Independence and Civil War periods. Though the monologuists never meet, their stories are fused through the featuring of a third character, Cumann na mBan member Eileen Murphy.
Emilie Pine’s father had what she has called ‘an unusual approach to parenting’, consisting of neglect of his duties in favour of the pursuit of his first love, alcohol. Pine survived this upbringing and has now written a wonderful, compassionate book about her and her family’s life and travails.
With the waning of religious faith and practice in Ireland, the hope of eternal salvation is no longer available to a large portion of the population. A new study of the theme of death in the Irish novel takes us from a world saturated by religious ritual to one which mostly wishes just to forget the past.
The eighteenth century in Ireland saw the vigorous transfer of literary objects and ideas between Castle Forbes, Edgeworthstown House, and other ‘big houses’ such as Charleville Forest in Co Offaly. Co Longford in particular seems to have been especially rich in literary life at this time.
If historian Mark Mazower’s father was a quiet man, his reticence was nothing compared to his father’s. Starting from some diaries found in a wardrobe, Mazower has traced an epic and often tragic family history that played out against the turmoil and violence of the early twentieth century.
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.
Anti-Catholic riots in London in 1780 led to 1,000 deaths. It would be almost another fifty years before equality of citizenship was finally established, the brilliant campaigning of O’Connell and the determination of Wellington finally overcoming the hysterical opposition of the king.