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

    Pulling back the curtains

    Emer Nolan
    Pulling back the curtains
    The heroines of the Victorian novel encountered a blockage in their lives that Sally Rooney’s do not. Might access to education have made a difference? What if Cathy and Heathcliff could have taken a module on Freud together, if Dorothea Brooke had been able to do a degree in medicine?
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    Up and doing

    Giles Newington
    The novelist John Buchan was both patriotic Scot and unionist Briton. And while his work often reveals an unpleasant racism, this sunny-tempered dynamo was still able, as someone from the political periphery, to respect cultural difference and aspirations to independence.
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    Triumph of the Will

    Kevin Power
    Triumph of the Will
    Benjamin Moser’s biography tells us vividly what it was like to know Susan Sontag: it was a tough gig. But it doesn’t tell us what it was like to be Susan Sontag ‑ perhaps an even tougher gig. Nor does it tell us much about her work.
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    Wounded Heart, Divided Soul

    Tim Murphy
    Wounded Heart, Divided Soul
    “He Honored Life” ‑ these were the words inscribed on Jack Kerouac’s tombstone after his death fifty years ago this month. Kerouac certainly “ate the peach” and his death from cirrhosis at the age of forty-seven was one of the twentieth century’s great literary tragedies.
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    All About Helena

    Emmet O’Connor

    A memoir can ground the writer in external events or situations and provide an objective rationale to the narrative. The autobiography is a trickier proposition, placing the self at the centre. It is an act of whopping self-regard that demands a weighty justification.

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    All Boys Together

    James Ward
    After uttering a choice remark, Dr Johnson would look around the room to check that his audience was sufficiently appreciative. He once woke up sweating from a dream where someone had bested him, but was soon relieved to find the contest had been between two versions of himself.
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    The Odd Couple

    Catherine Kelly
    Emma Donoghue’s tenth novel is concerned with the relationship between an elderly man and his eleven-year-old grandnephew, who is entrusted to him after his mother is imprisoned for drug abuse. While the narrative deals with some of the darker aspects of life, this is not a dark book.
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    Telling Tales

    Dawn Miranda Sherratt-Bado
    Zadie Smith has said that she is not by nature a political person, her business as a writer rather being ‘the intimate lives of people’. Nevertheless, she concurs with Orwell that all writing is political and has been particularly concerned to explore the politics of identity.
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    Look at Me

    Michael Hinds
    The sonnet emerged in the Renaissance just as the concept of an explorable and variable self became culturally pervasive. Like a multi-barred cage within which the heart, mind and body paces like a bear, the form allowed sophisticated selves to show themselves to be sophisticated.
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    Locked up, Locked out

    Dan A O’Brien
    At the ‘academy’, where you can be sent for ‘bumptious behaviour’, the boys were called students, rather than inmates, to distinguish them from the violent offenders that populated prisons. All the violent offenders at the academy were on the staff.
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