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.

Issue 60, October 2014

The Snug Opaque Quotidian

Some critics thought John Updike ‘a minor novelist with a major style’, a misjudgement which may be based on a doctrinaire rejection of the suburban middle class life which was his material and which he represented in all its fullness and lushness, ‘giving the mundane its beautiful due’.

Hostage to Fortune

Brendan Behan’s brief, self-destructive moment in the American spotlight is a cautionary tale of excess. But we should also ask in whose interest was the myth of the man created? And what need did the wild Irishman fulfil for the American media and its audience?