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.

Patricia Craig

A Tonic for Our Times

Margaret Atwood’s astute, sparkling takes on social and literary matters

The Night Walker

As the lamps come on, thoughts of a connoisseur of the crepuscular

Coasting

A Reader from ‘Archipelago’, a review celebrating wild Britain and Ireland

The Story from Below

The Irish working class’s long search for its voice to be heard in literature

Once Upon A Time

Marina Warner’s reimagining of a near magical transformation

Lowly Things, Homely Folk

From the four-poster to the settle bed, the dresser set with delph to the chair made from tree stumps, Irish country houses were filled with a variety of now unfamiliar artifacts, lowly things perhaps, but imbued in Claudia Kinmouth’s scholarly treatment with pungency and romance.

A Mission to Unite

Deeply Catholic, though also feminist and liberal, President Mary McAleese built bridges between the denominations. Her commitment was impressive and her story is an inspiring one, even if its large cast of popes, cardinals, bishops, priests and nuns sometimes overwhelms.

The Seamus Heaney Experience

On a jaunt to Ayrshire, Seamus Heaney came upon the Robert Burns Visitor Experience. When friends joked that there might soon be a Heaney Experience he suggested ‘a few churns and a confession box’. Roy Foster’s impressive new study provides an alternative route into that experience.

Silver Linings

Michele Roberts, the acclaimed author of twenty-five books, was rather put out when her new novel was rejected. For a year, she wrote a diary as an exercise in recuperation. The result is more joyous than jaundiced, something bright and exhilarating wrested from discomposure and dismay.

Not So Equal

They lived in squares, painted in circles and loved in triangles