Argentinian writer Samanta Schweblin: author of Fever Dream, which has been shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International prize. Photograph: Miguel Bellido/GDA/AP

This daring, ambiguous thriller is an apocalyptic lamentation for a world in free fall

US writer Rick Bass: He is informed and very aware of both the insignificance of man in the natural world, and of the damage he wreaks

Rick Bass’s generous volume includes new work and selected stories from past 30 years

 Poet turned author: Conor O’Callaghan, right, with Frank McGuinness and Eileán Ní Chuilleanáin   in County Hall, Dún Laoghaire. Photograph: Jason Clarke Photography

With its borderland setting, Conor O’Callaghan’s masterful debut calls to mind Ireland’s Disappeared

Vivek Shanbhag: author of Ghachar Ghochar. Photograph: Hari Prasad Nadig/Flickr

Vivek Shanbhag family tale is one of the finest literary works you will ever encounter

Ayobami Adebayo: her novel  does not change so much as evolve, with an impressive emotional intelligence. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty Images

Stay With Me review: Ayobami Adebayo’s enthralling debut strikes deep from outset

Veteran Amos Oz, along with favourite Mathias Énard and Argentine outsider Samanta Schweblin, in line for prize

Tim Parks: The British novelist has published consistently excellent and at times outstanding fiction since 1985.

Humour and tenderness make for the finest book yet by underrated novelist Tim Parks

 Anne Enright’s ‘The Green Road’ is the only Irish book on the International Dublin Literary Award shortlist. Photograph: Alan Betson

‘The Sympathizer’ by Viet Thanh Nguyen is favourite on strong international shortlist

Wolfgang Herrndorf’s dialogue stands equal to that of William Gaddis and Thomas Pynchon

Wolfgang Herrndorf’s brilliant, anarchic, darkly comic thriller is a true original

 Madeleine Thien and the cover of her book, ‘Do Not Say We Have Nothing’. ‘This is a brave, bold and intelligent novel, weighty with a sense of responsibility.’ File photograph: Man Booker Prize/PA Wire

Three British writers among contenders as some big names omitted from final list

Mathias Énard: the French novelist has an uncanny gift for merging the glories of the past with the ravages of the present. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty

Reading Mathias Énard’s novel is like wandering into an exotic sweet shop, writes Eileen Battersby

Greeting from Company K: “Dear Madam, Your son, Francis, died needlessly in Belleau Wood . . . At the time of his death he was crawling with vermin and weak from diarrhea.” Photograph: European/FPG/Getty

On the centenary of the US entry into the First World War, Eileen Battersby revisits William March's stark classic

Exercise books: medal-winning sports stories

From boxing to racing and from fact to fiction, a personal selection of the greatest stories about sport

Emmanuel Carrère: his wayward flair is brilliantly supported by his intellectual range and towering ego. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty

The maverick French writer reimagines Christianity’s beginnings in a madly magical novel

 Derek Walcott  in Saint Malo, France, in 1993. Photograph:  Ulf Andersen/Getty Images

The Nobel laureate was funny, explosively opinionated, playful and occasionally outrageous

Longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker International prize:  Israeli author Amos Oz. Photograph: Dan Porges/Getty Images

Four potential Nobel literature laureates are in the running for the €57,000 prize

Sabahattin Ali: overlooked novel resonated with new generation in Turkey.   Photograph Filiz Ali

The daughter of Sabahattin Ali, author of surprise bestseller Madonna in a Fur Coat, recalls the day he died

Author Ross Raisin: his novel centres on the moment when dreams of sporting greatness falter into embarrassment. Photograph: Angus Muir

Ross Raisin’s slow-moving third novel struggles to portray a terrified young soccer player

Eimear McBride is represented in the competition by her second novel ‘The Lesser Bohemians’. Photograph: Eric Luke

Irish author’s ‘The Lesser Bohemians’ faces competition from Atwood, Proulx and others

A brief, polemical fable that puts the reality of the refugee crisis into sharp relief

Casey Affleck: Manchester by the Sea performance deserves the best actor Oscar. Photograph: Emily Andrews/The New York Times

Does one have to be without sin, stain or misdemeanour to earn an Oscar?

Knut the famous polar bear  at Berlin’s zoo. He died suddenly and prematurely  in 2011, at the end of what animal welfare groups said was an unhappy, short life. Photograph: John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Yoko Tawada’s whimsical ursine family saga expresses a powerful sense of justice

Viet Thanh Nguyen: the abiding power of the eight intelligent, crafted stories that form The Refugees collection  is his reading of human nature in domestic situations. Photograph:  Oriana Koren/The New York Times

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s debut collection is a timely look at lives of outsiders in America

 Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon in Wuthering Heights. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

From Persuasion to Wuthering Heights, The Dead to Le Grand Meaulnes, make a date with one of these classics

László Krasznahorkai:  “The linguistic energy of Joyce . . . the cautionary vision of Kafka and the bleak humour of Beckett”. Photograph: Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images

László Krasznahorkai is the undisputed laureate of our deranged, vulnerable epoch

“The nervous systems of memory”: Lutz Seiler

Poet Lutz Seiler’s debut novel is an exciting, expansive work of German literature, writes Eileen Battersby

Another Brooklyn may be closer to young adult than Jacqueline Woodson intended. Photograph: Getty Images

Despite the obvious thematic comparisons, Woodson’s prose lacks the daunting power of Toni Morrison’s sophisticated lyricism

Ashland & Vine by John Burnside

Scottish poet’s foray into post-second World War US history is disappointingly contrived

Books for dark times...

There has been a surge in sales of George Orwell’s 1984 following Donald Trump’s election as US president

 Édouard Louis: The End of Eddy  is his story, a “deeply political account of the poverty and violence as well as the homophobic and racial tensions that exist in contemporary France”. Photograph: Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images

Édouard Louis’s intensely autobiographical novel spares no one, including the reader, writes Eileen Battersby

Nadeem Aslam: his language makes one engage with every word. Photograph: M Zhazo/Hindustan Times via Getty

Beauty is confronted by terrorism in Nadeem Aslam’s certain Man Booker contender

Maeve Brennan sitting at the fireplace. Photograph from Angela Bourke’s Maeve Brennan: Homesick at The New Yorker

Eileen Battersby reviews The Long-Winded Lady, Maeve Brennan’s New Yorker sketches, as part of our extensive coverage marking toda(...)

Poets Seamus Heaney and Anthony Cronin enjoy a light moment. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Complete and formidable literary man whose intelligence never overpowered his art

Ioana Parvulescu: Her reconstruction of Bucharest  in the 19th century is so vivid that it emerges as one of the central characters in a feel good novel busy with everyday life. Photograph: Mihai Benea

Romanian author Ioana Parvulescu has crafted a rare delight full of old world charm

Revellers celebrate during the winter solstice at  Newgrange, Co Meath. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Pilgrims to the Co Meath monument are tough and seemingly impervious to theories

The year’s best novels, collections, memoirs and translations range around the world

César Aira: Should The Seamstress and the Wind bewilder you, so much the better

César Aira’s fantastical nightmare is an elegy for the Disappeared, writes Eileen Battersby

Evald Flisar: hovers on the realist side of surreal.   Photograph: Tihomir Pinter

The Slovenian writer Evald Flisar plays with light and dark, the fantastical and the believable

Günter   Grass died, aged 87, in 2015 – on April 13th, the birthday of both Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney. Photograph: Pedro Armestre/AFP/Getty Images

Nobel Prize-winning author’s posthumous collection of mediations is witty and touching

Cove by Cynan Jones

Browser review

William Trevor: an Irish writer, an international writer, a great writer. Photograph: Eric Luke

Trevor was a world class writer who chronicled the lives of the forgotten, the despairing losers, the innocent and the devious, t(...)

International Dublin Literary Award longlist : 147 titles nominated by 109 libraries. Montage: Gillian Keyes

The 147 titles on the International Dublin Literary Award longlist are a treasure trove of great reading

The seven Irish books on the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award longlist

John Banville, Kevin Barry, Sara Baume, Anne Enright, Louise O’Neill, Nuala O’Connor and Edna O’Brien on 147-strong longlist (...)

Jon Bilbao: the author “doesn’t waste a word in a fluent, exciting narrative with as many twists as a mountain pass”

Jon Bilbao’s original, caustic revenge tragedy shows that everyone has their limits

Reunion by Fred Uhlman

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Leonard Cohen with Eddie Walsh and Constance Cassidy at the opening of the Yeats Gallery at  Lissadell in 2010

Owners of historic Sligo house recall the dream concerts the singer played in 2010

Gerard  Reve: His book, which was published in 1947, is considered by the Society of Dutch Literature to be the best Dutch novel of all time

It should be acknowledged as one of the finest studies of youthful malaise ever written

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Trumpet player Donncha McDonagh practising in St Mary’s Church, Haddington Road, Dublin, ahead of  the Lassus choir’s Remembrance Day performance on Friday night. Photograph: Alan Betson

Programme dedicated to memory of those killed on the Somme and in Easter Rising

Step one. Confusion. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

How to win the US presidency in 10 easy steps – Step one: Aim for confusion...

The media gathered beneath the US flag at a Hillary Clinton event in New York on election night. Photograph: Elsa/Getty Images

Where to now after one of the most corrosive US presidential elections in history

Brad Watson: instinctive, tender and respectful feel for the natural world

Brad Watson’s novel of a young woman who never gives up shimmers with quiet humanity

Ida Simons:  concentration-camp survivor

Betrayal and revenge drive powerful novels by Ida Simons and Wytske Versteeg

 Israeli novelist David Grossman: “has long been a vital witness, a truth teller about his country”. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

David Grossman’s novel about a stand-up comedian is shocking, raw and eloquent

Man Booker prize 2016 winner  Paul Beatty with his book The Sellout. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP

Author wins for satire on race in the US and becomes first American to win prize

Joy Williams: “Believes that writing should provoke, not comfort”. Photograph by Reg Innell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Joy Williams’s latest infrequent collection is so good we hardly know where to start raving first

Graeme Macrae Burnet: gleeful wit for a grim subject matter

Graeme Macrae Burnet’s Booker nominee is a bloody thrilling true-life crime story

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For his acceptance, Bob Dylan is giving a concert, not a reading – which says it all. Photograph: Istvan Bajzat/AFP/Getty Images

If the academy wanted to honour a music icon, Paul Simon would be a better choice

 Hans Fallada: telling his own, and Germany’s, story. Photograph: Ullstein Bild via Getty Images

Allan Blunden’s brilliant translation conveys the turmoil of a strange, extraordinary novel about a post-war Germany faced with t(...)

Colson Whitehead: “His prose will seduce, the humanity will move.” Photograph: Sunny Shokrae/The New York Times

Eileen Battersby says Colson Whitehead’s gripping slavery epic should be read by everyone

Belgian writer Annelies Verbeke: her novel “is a fearless exposé of the world we live in and how we live”

Annelies Verbeke’s fearless, intelligent novel follows the fortunes of a kindly decorator

Angela Hewitt: Her parents started her off on Bach “because his music is the basis of piano technique”. Photograph: James Cheadle

Classical legend’s first concert kicks off all 141 of Bach’s solo works for keyboard

Ecclesiastical games: in The Hungry Grass (1969), Richard Power ‘evokes a rural Ireland which is both of the past and still very much of the present’

The priest at the centre of this reissue is one of Irish literature’s most memorable creations

Man Booker 2016: Madeleine Thien’s  Do Not Say We Have Nothing is the exception rather than the rule. Photograph: PA

Man Booker selection pales in comparison to international stablemate - this is where the titles of real quality can be found, lost(...)

Man Booker shortlist: David Szalay, Deborah Levy, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Otessa Moshfegh, Paul Beatty, and Madeleine Thien. Photographs: PA

Madeleine Thien now favourite with symphonic masterwork Do Not Say We Have Nothing

Roy Jacobsen’s ‘prose is beautiful, clean, poised and plain-speaking, but there are interludes of Shakespearean grandeur in the dazzling descriptions of storms’. Photograph by Siv-Elin Nærø

Eileen Battersby found Roy Jacobsen’s book to be as blunt as it is subtle, and one of the best novel she’s ever read

 JM Coetzee: The biggest issue facing the reader is what is going on, while Coetzee’s main problem could prove ensuring the reader even cares. Weekend Review books September 2016. JM Coetzee. Harvill Secker publicity shot by Bert Nienhaus.

Possibly post-apocalyptic narrative preoccupied with impromptu and relentless philosophical discourse

Literary setting: in Joan London’s novel Sullivan, encased in an iron lung because of his polio, is writing a poem about a ceiling. Photograph: Jonathan Kirn/Corbis via Getty

Joan London’s characters attempt to shape a communal present as Australia absorbs the effects of the polio epidemic that terrorise(...)

  Annsert Whyte,  Kerron Clement and  Thomas Barr in the 400m hurdles final. Photograph:   Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty

Waterford athlete was one stride away from bronze in Olympic 400m hurdles final

Activist Gerry Jones outside St Paul’s school on Adelaide Road, Glasthule, where Roger Casement attended. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Plans to build four townhouses on site of school 1916 patriot believed to have attended

The sculpture Frauengruppe, by Will Lammert, at the memorial site of former concentration camp Ravensbruck, in Fuerstenberg, Germany. Photograph: Michael Gottschalk/photothek via Getty

Haderlap’s novel of growing up in rural Carinthia is part autobiography, part memoir

Published to a muted response in Turkey in the 1940s, was revived there more than three years ago and has remained a bestseller ev(...)

Yuri Herrera: writer for a doomed era. Photograph: Panta Astiazaran/AFP/Getty

The second in a trilogy of novels by Yuri Herrera startles with its topicality about Mexico-US border tensions

The funeral of Roger Casement in Dublin. Casement’s remains were removed from England where he was hanged for high treason and reburied in Glasnevin Cemetery. Photograph: McMahon/Getty Images

On the centenary of his tragic execution, it is worth recalling the rebel’s adventurous life

Athlete Ronnie Delaney in 1956. (Part of the Independent Newspapers Ireland/NLI Collection). (Photo by Independent News and Media/Getty Images)

Delany, Spitz and Korbut are among the athletes who achieved sporting immortality at the Games

Gonzalo Torné: his third novel is like a Spanish version of Portnoy’s Complaint

The hero of this nastily funny Spanish novel is a whinger on the verge of a nervous breakdown

The Sellout by Paul Beatty; The Schooldays of Jesus by J.M. Coetzee; Serious Sweet by A.L. Kennedy

Irish authors lose out as four debuts included on 13-strong list

Cian O’Connor competed on his 13th Aga Khan team in 15 years. He jumped double clear on Friday on his Belgian stallion, Good Luck. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Show jumping seen as minority interest despite considerable contribution to economy

A classic western about Billy the Kid’s final days re-released on its 60th anniversary

 Denis Lynch on All Star 5 as the horse refuses the final fence in the jump-off against Italy, who went on to win  the Aga Khan Trophy at the Dublin Horse Show  in the RDS yesterday. Photograph: Alan Betson

Irish showjumping team performs well, but elegant Italian quartet prove class above rest

 Manuel Rivas author of The Low Voices: tells wonderful stories.   Photograph:  Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images

Manuel Rivas’s beautifully translated memoir/novel brilliantly capture a time, a place and a family

Olympic rein: Greg Broderick with MHS Going Global at Ballypatrick Stables. Photo: John D Kelly

Ireland’s sole showjumper at next month’s Games is determined to produce his best in Rio

History half-remembered: a soldier guards what used to be the   palace of president Nicolae Ceausescu in Bucharest, Romania. Photograph: Kevin Weaver/Getty

A subtle but daring novel tells of a Romanian emigrant who can never return

Anne Tyler: delicate gifts. Photograph: Michael Lionstarr/Four Colman Getty/PA

Tyler’s twee updating of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ is an ill-judged caper

 Young people lay wreaths during a service to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the battle of the Somme at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Memorial on July 1st, 2016 in Thiepval, France. Photograph:  Gareth Fuller/Getty Images

This is an important work about the first World War largely because of the material from which it draws

Marge Simpson: the blue-haired great American mom who has nurtured her family of Homer, Bart, Lisa and baby Maggie

On its birthday, a very personal list of the best gifts the US has given the world

 British troops go over the top from the trenches in  the Battle of the Somme. Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty

On the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, two versions of a classic antiwar play – one by Irishman Patrick Healy, one by Fr(...)

A woman overlooking Moraine Lake in Alberta, Canada. Photograph: Jordan Siemens

The best of Canada includes the food, the people and, of course, the view

Jean Echenoz:  meticulous and precise

Barely a novella in length, 1914 displays the authority of an historian and the humanity of a storyteller

 Annie Proulx: majestic short story writer falters in  epic novel of environmental carnage. Photograph:  Gus Powell

At more than 700 pages, Proulx’s polemical lament uses up a lot of wood pulp

William Wall: a shrewd ear for dialogue and the offbeat. Photograph: David Sleator

In these 20 short stories, familiar themes – god, sex and death – are again made strange

Edmund White  in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, in 2014. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Novel cleverly juxtaposes the meat-market fantasies of modelling with those of desire

Akhil Sharma has been announced as the winner of the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award. Photograph: Jason Clarke

Winner of the International Dublin Literary Award speaks to Eileen Battersby

 Akhil Sharma has been announced as the winner of the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award.  Photograph: Jason Clarke

Unexpected win for second novel which cost author years of hardship and emotional stress

“On arrival the rake is box-like and surprisingly compact, but it then unfolds like a praying mantis and extends its arms.” Photograph: John W Anderson

A richer variation on hay must be cut, dried and quickly wrapped airtight

Conor O’Callaghan stamps his authority on this low-key but pitch-perfect novel, one of most impressive pieces of Irish fiction si(...)

Novelist Don DeLillo ponders the big unanswerable – mortality – in a speculative tale that is like a summation of his artistic vis(...)

Painting by Otto Dix, ‘War Cripples,’ at a Nazi exhibition of Degenerate Art at the Munich Hofgarten, July 1937. Photograph: Ullstein Bild via Getty Images

Although he created some of the most powerful anti-war images ever seen, the German artist maintained an ambivalence about the co(...)

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