Author Jung Chang talking to Peter Florence about ‘Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine who launched modern China’ at the Hay Festival Kells, Co Meath. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

Louis de Bernieres and Jung Chang among authors to read at Co Meath event

Joe O’Connell looking at a painting of Samuel Beckett at the Hay Festival Kells, Co Meath, which has returned for a second year. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

In person, Jeremy Paxman is as bossy and opinionated – although not as tall – as you would expect

Romanian communist party general secretary and president Nicolae Ceaucescu in Bucharest on November 20th, 1989, addressing party members. He and his wife Elena were executed by firing squad in December that year. Photograph: Gerard Fouet/AFP/Getty Images

Carmen Bugan’s memoir relates a tale of psychological cruelty after her father was imprisoned by Romania’s secret police

From left, Mikel Murfi, Enda Walsh , Cillian Murphy and Stephen Rea. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Enda Walsh’s intense new play brings together an all-star cast of Cillian Murphy, Stephen Rea and Mikel Murfi. Are they looking fo(...)

The Shergar foal in a frisky mood during a photocall with handler, Yvonne Morrissey. The foal was later sold for 325,000 guineas. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Published: November 21st, 1983.Photograph by Matt Kavanagh

Salman Rushdie: ‘If you don’t have a pretty clear sense of who you are, you’re not going to write good books.’ Photograph: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images

He likes to blur the lines between fact and fiction, and if pushed he might recite some Tolkien in Elvish – this is not the type o(...)

Published February 4th, 1947, the photograph shows James Larkin’s four sons  at his funeral procession in Dublin. They are (left to right) Denis, Fintan, Bernard and James. Photograph: The Irish Times

A solemn laying to rest of the giant of trade union history and general Dublin legend

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