A new collection of participants’ accounts of England’s wars in sixteenth century Ireland reveals the extreme means – starvations, burnings, decapitations, slaughter of women, children and the elderly – by which its soldiers and administrators claimed to have pacified the country.
Jenny Diski was a disturbed teenager abandoned by her parents when Doris Lessing took her into her home. She was told there was no need to feel grateful and offered freedom, space and intellectual stimulation. Love, affection and reassurance, however, were not part of the deal.
The British Labour Party is in deep crisis, with the majority in the constituency parties, many of them recently joined-up members or supporters, strongly in support of new leader Jeremy Corbyn while the majority of the party’s MPs are equally opposed and keen to replace him.
One of the most distinctive aspects of O’Faoláin’s ‘The Bell’ was its reportage, a genre related to British and American traditions of documentary writing, a departure from the ‘belles lettres’ conception and a socially conscious attempt to extend literature’s democratic appeal and demographic reach.
Mia Gallagher’s new novel is a capacious one. It is difficult to capture all at once, and as such it is a work that would repay returning to. As the playful cabinet of curiositiesdevice that it features might suggest, it is also a novel that might appear very differently on each reading.
In the eighty-million-year time span from the mid-Permian to the mid-Jurassic periods, two massive extinctions occurred, as well as four of lesser magnitude. In the biggest of these, 250 million years ago, ninety-five per cent of existing plant and animal life perished.