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Life Without Children: Roddy Doyle strikes a chord with tales of death, fear, loss and grief

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Sombre stories with flashes of wit: Roddy Doyle. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Sombre stories with flashes of wit: Roddy Doyle. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Life Without Children by Roddy Doyle

Life Without Children by Roddy Doyle

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Sombre stories with flashes of wit: Roddy Doyle. Photo by Steve Humphreys

Negative capability, a term first used by the English poet John Keats, is a writer’s ability to accept “uncertainties, mysteries, doubts” without explaining them away using fact and reason. Keats first showcased the term in a letter dated 1817, suggesting those with the creative impulse needed to experience the world as an uncertain place.

Booker Prize-winner Roddy Doyle, a writer about whose creativity there can be no doubt, embraces his negative capability in Life Without Children, his latest short story collection. In these 10 stories from the world of lockdown, he assembles a group of characters ridden with insecurity and hesitation.


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