Rosita Boland is a senior features writer at The Irish Times. She was a 2009 Nieman Fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. She won Journalist of the Year at the 2018 NewsBrands Ireland journalism awards. In 2019, Rosita’s first essay collection Elsewhere was shortlisted for the Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards. Her new collection, Comrades: A Lifetime of Friendships, will be published next Thursday by Doubleday.
Zoom, Colm Tóibín tells me from New York, with a laugh, “is a narcissist’s dream, because you can just stare at yourself. My narcissist days are over”, he clarifies (Tóibín is now 66). “But it’s tailor-made.”
Our ancestral primates evolved in Africa sometime around 300,000 years ago. Rising to the top of the evolutionary chain, our species remoulded nature in its own image with divine-like power and intelligence. Homo sapiens then managed to create religions, political systems, cities, spectacular works of art, skyscrapers, space rockets, the internet, smartphones and a global economy. But at the core of our being, are we really rational creatures?
Grief is a universal experience, but one which largely takes place inside our heads and out of public view. Yet in the last several years, Australian singer-songwriter Nick Cave has become our unlikely guide for dealing with loss and learning to heal.
The mayhem has reached America. Lauren Groff can confirm this. Everyone she knows has been caught up in a “wild” sense of anticipation – because Sally Rooney fever has come to town.
When she was 20, Londoner Ann fell in love with charming Irishman Peter Ingle on holiday in Cornwall in 1960. After a shotgun wedding, they moved to Dublin and soon the first of eight children arrived. Over the years, the loving man Ann knew began to unravel. Below is an edited extract from her book Openhearted.
Ruth Ozeki is a novelist, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest. Her third novel, A Tale for the Time Being (2013), won the LA Times Book Prize, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and has been published in over 30 countries. Her new novel, The Book of Form and Emptiness, is published by Canongate.
If banana bread was the must-bake of the pandemic, and Normal People the must-see, then without a doubt the book of the past year has been Old Ireland In Colour. The colourised chronicle of historical Irish images topped the bestseller charts — the only Irish-published book to make more than €1m in Ireland in 2020 — scooping the Christmas number-one slot and notching up a glut of accolades for its fascinating representation of our country’s rich history.
Kate is holding a dinner party for her brothers and sister-in-law, and she has prepared for it meticulously. Scallops with truffle oil, beef Wellington with balsamic vinegar-dressed vegetables on the side, chilled sancerre, even a baked Alaska waiting in the freezer for a triumphant finale. But there’s a gristly fact of importance hanging over the scene: it’s Halloween, the anniversary of Kate’s twin sister Elaine’s death.
One of Ireland’s most successful and popular writers, Maeve Binchy sold more than 40 million copies in 37 languages. Since her death in 2012, her global popularity has continued unabated — in 2019, all her novels were published in Korean for the first time. Yet it’s not solely her reach that continues to expand; her influence and legacy are also flourishing.
How many times have you been told that sex sells? We know this to be true — from the subtle-ish advertising campaigns of Levis to the grimier corners of the internet, there is no doubt everyone is in search of a bit (or a lot) of titillation.
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