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.

Dan A O’Brien

Locked up, Locked out

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.

Waiting to live

The Nigerian-Irish writer Melatu Uche Okorie writes from a situation between two worlds, the migrant’s ever-present dilemma of here and there, but with the added complication that many of her stories are set in that particular purgatory the direct provision centre.

Development Arrested

The Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga’s first novel was a major success, although she was accused by reviewers at home of ‘fouling her own nest’. Her latest novel uses the broken female body as a metaphor to explore the collapse of her country’s body politic.

Not At Home

In Barracoon, Zora Neale Hurston’s documentary narrative from 1931 which has only now been published, the former slave Cudjo gives his children names for the old world they have left behind and the new one in which they now live. But like him, they are at home in neither.

Not All There

Sean O’Reilly’s truncated, misshapen stories are a radical leave-taking from the Irish literary tradition ‑ more Flannery than Frank O’Connor ‑ while in other ways they could not be anything other than Irish, sharing much with the stranger work of Donal Ryan and Rob Doyle.