Author: John Updike. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

Even at its finest, biography is a difficult enterprise; claims of being revelatory and insightful may often turn out to be another way of settling a (...)

From left: ‘Irish Times’ journalists Maeve Donnellan, Nell McCafferty, Mary Maher, Geraldine Kennedy, Gabrielle Williams, Renagh Holohan (seated), Christina Murphy, Mary Cummins and Caroline Walsh.

Just before Christmas, on one of several aborted gift-shopping expeditions, I found myself sheltering from torrential rain in Chapters bookshop on Dub(...)

The sun shines along the passage floor into the inner chamber at Newgrange during the 2013 winter solstice at Newgrange. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

“Oh ye of little faith” has seldom seemed more apt than it did at the famous Newgrange, Brú na Bóinne, complex in Co Meath at the weekend. In the anna(...)

Mary Lavin’s daughters (from left)  Valdi MacMahon, Liz Peavoy and  Caroline Walsh at a mews in Lad Lane that was once their home. Photograph: David Sleator

On the last day of August 1967, the author Mary Lavin boarded the SS United States with her(...)

The story is a newly familiar one. The book was only hours old and already there were 42 five-star online ratings of it on Amazon. com. Within (...)