Svetlana Alexievich the 2015 Nobel literature winner, waves  after a news conference in Minsk, Belarus, yesterday.  The judges described her work “a monument to suffering and courage.” Photograph: Sergei Grits/AP Photo

It takes courage to see the truth; it takes even more to confront it, describe it and present it against the odds. This year’s Nobel Prize for Literat(...)

Even the most fraught relationship is unlikely to approach the crazed union described in Tolstoy’s contentious novella. Banned by the Russian censors,(...)

Andrés Barba: his novel ‘possesses disarming genius and complex layers of truth, heightened by glimpses of understanding accompanied by near panic’.

Tomás is 14 and beginning to feel a bit disgruntled inside his skin. He has finally noticed that his parents are far more stupid than he had previo(...)

Brian Friel “was fatherly, kind, practical and funny. He seemed to look deep into the centre of things.” File photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

It all began with a note, welcoming me to sit in on the dress rehearsal of the revival of his masterwork, Faith Healer. Brian Friel said it wou(...)

In 1940, Bernard Leach, the founding father of modern British ceramics, published A Potter’s Book. It is the classic primer for anyone interested i(...)

From the Archive: Reports, previews and photographs from 1930’s National Ploughing Championship reports. Photograph: The Irish Times

Eileen Battersby - Thursday, October 3rd, 1996 APPROACHING the neoclassical style arch entrance to Oak park Research Centre outside Carlow town it is (...)

Life seems unlikely to get any worse for the struggling married couple centre stage on Margaret Atwood’s latest cartoon featuring our society’s ong(...)

Hanya Yanagihara: A Little Life (Picador)

Big seems to make an impression, and a first glance at this year’s Man Booker shortlist appears to suggest that length did not deter the judges. It ma(...)

Late in The Story of the Lost Child, the closing pages of Elena Ferrante’s four-volume domestic saga about Italian women over the past half-century, t(...)

Salman Rushdie, outside the main branch of the New York Public Library. Photograph: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Well, things aren’t looking too good. A ferocious storm has rampaged for three days, leaving destruction and upheaval in its wake. New York is in a me(...)