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Patricia O’Reilly considers the challenges and pitfalls facing anyone writing historical fiction.

Book notes

Tony Canavan with the latest from the world of books.


Anthony J. Jordan marks Bloomsday by showing how much the attitudes of ‘official’ Ireland towards James Joyce have changed.

Tony Flynn puts the growing Irish graphic-novel scene in the frame.

Brendan MacEvilly from Words Ireland flags up the forthcoming Literature Producers Forum.

Book focus

The series editors explain the thinking behind the thought-provoking Síreacht series.

Competition winners

The winning stories from of the Irish Writers Centre’s Flash Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction competition by Geraldine McCarthy, Katie McGreal, Ian McMillan and Jasper Stone.

Behind the screen

Tony Canavan is bemused by Jacqueline, a film based on Catherine Cookson’s The Grand Man.

Bookshop focus

Carina McNally chats with the sisters who run the Bantry Bookshop.


Hugh McFaddenOur Tangled Speech: essays on language and culture, by Aodán Mac Póilin.

Amanda BellMarkievicz: prison letters & rebel writings, edited by Lindie Naughton.

Tony CanavanJumping the Border, by Séamas Ó Catháin.


Grace SaffordAnn Devine, Ready for her Close-Up, by Colm O’Regan.

Isolde GogginJ.G. Farrell’s Empire Novels: the decline and fall of the human condition, by Rebecca Ziegler.

Aubrey MaloneSaint Patrick: an ancient saint for modern times, by Edmond Grace SJ.

Madeleine D’ArcyThe Fire Starters, by Jan Carson.

Lavinia GreacenBrick and Flowers: an Anglo-Irish memoir, by Katherine Everett.

Isabelle CartwrightThe Great Wide Open, by Douglas Kennedy.

Tom KennedyNew Light on George Boole, by Desmond McHale and Yvonne Cohen.

Anne CunninghamThe Burnout Solution, by Siobháin Murray.

Mary DaviesThe Burren, by David Cabot and Roger Goodwillie.

Crime spree

Paula O’Hare rounds up the best suspects in the latest Irish crime fiction.


Sue Leonard brings her selection of new début novelists.

In: Verse

Fred Johnston with his choice of recent poetry collections.

Leabhair idir lámha

Cathal Póirtéir tells us about the latest books as Gaeilge.

First flush

Tony Flynn and Grace Safford list all the new books sent into us.

My favourite

Madeline Moran explains why she loves the Rubâ’iyât of Omar Khayyam.

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Contributors in this issue

Amanda Bell is a writer, editor and indexer. Her poetry collection, First the Feathers, was shortlisted for the Shine Strong Award.

Isabelle Cartwright’s poetry, reviews and interviews with writers have been published here and abroad.

Anne Cunningham is a regular book reviewer for the Sunday Independent and the Irish Independent, and she writes a column for the Meath Chronicle.

Madeleine D’Arcy is a Hennessy Award-winning fiction writer, whose début short-story collection, Waiting for the Bullet, won the Edgehill Reader’s Choice Prize 2015.

Mary Davies is a semi-retired historical geographer and garden writer.

Fiona Dukelow is one of the editors of the Síreacht series of books.

Tony Flynn has just completed the M.Phil. in Children’s Literature, Trinity College Dublin, and is working with Books Ireland as an editorial assistant.

Lavinia Greacen is a biographer and historian.

Fred Johnston’s latest collection of poetry is Rogue States (Salmon Poetry).

Anthony J. Jordan is the author of Maud Gonne’s Men (Westport Books).

Isolde Goggin is studying for a degree in Classical Studies with the Open University.

Tom Kennedy is founding editor of Science Spin magazine and member of the Irish Science and Technology Journalists’ Association.

Heather Laird is one of the editors of the Síreacht series of books.

Sue Leonard is a freelance journalist, writer and ghostwriter, who also writes the ‘Beginner’s Pluck’ book column for The Irish Examiner.

Geraldine McCarthy writes short stories, flash fiction and poetry. Her work has been published in various journals online and in print.

Brendan MacEvilly’s writing has appeared in The Irish Times, the Sunday Times, Books Ireland, The Stinging Fly and We Are Dublin.

Hugh McFadden is a critic, literary editor, journalist and author of four collections of poetry, including Empire of Shadows (2012).

Katie McGreal is an Irish-speaking mindfulness and relaxation teacher. She is editor of the magazine Mionlach. She believes in and fights for language and women’s rights.

Ian McMillan was born in Belfast but now lives with his family near the Mournes in County Down. He is a teacher in an integrated school.

Carina McNally writes book reviews, short stories and flash fiction.

Aubrey Malone is a journalist and author whose most recent book is The Art of Logging Out (Books by Boxer).

Rosie R. Meade is one of the editors of the Síreacht series of books.

Madeline Moran is a linguist and teacher currently living in Mayo.

Órla O’Donovan is one of the editors of the Síreacht series of books.

Paula O’Hare is a public sector lawyer who likes detective novels.

Patricia O’Reilly’s latest novel is The First Rose of Tralee (Ward River Press).

Cathal Póirtéir is a writer and broadcaster who has published several books and CDs on Irish folklore, social history and literature in Irish.

Grace Safford is a student at Champlain College, working with Books Ireland as an editorial assistant.

Jasper Stone is a geologist who has put down the rock-hammer and picked up the pen until further notice.


Books Ireland magazine, MAY/JUNE2019

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May Book Competition

The Doctor Who Sat for a Year

By Brendan Kelly

The twelve-month project of a self-confessed ‘Zen failure’

for a chance to win:

The Doctor Who Sat for a Year
By Brendan Kelly
ISBN: 978-0-7171-8457-6
Publisher: Gill Books



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