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Cristín Leach: ‘I’m grateful for my divorce... it feels like getting a whole other life again, like there’s an amazing freedom coming my way’

Art critic Cristín Leach’s new memoir offers a very modern portrait of a marriage breakdown. She talks about the importance of art and writing in her life, and the freedom that can come with realising you’re married to the wrong person

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Art critic and writer Cristín Leach. Photo: Clare Keogh

Art critic and writer Cristín Leach. Photo: Clare Keogh

Art critic and writer Cristín Leach. Photo: Clare Keogh

Art critic and writer Cristín Leach. Photo: Clare Keogh

Art critic and writer Cristín Leach. Photo: Clare Keogh

Art critic and writer Cristín Leach. Photo: Clare Keogh

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Art critic and writer Cristín Leach. Photo: Clare Keogh

By the time she reached her late thirties, Cristín Leach’s life appeared to be in good order. She was a married mother of two happy and healthy children, and was at the top of her game professionally as one of the country’s best-known and longest-running art critics.

One evening in November 2014, Leach recalls returning to her home after judging at the HearSay International Audio Arts Festival to find the kids, who were aged six and eight at the time, in bed and her husband on the sofa, watching TV. They listen to the winning piece — a tenderly romantic work called A Kiss by Kaitlin Prest — together.


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