Conor Brady on writing The Guarding of Ireland – the Garda Síochána and the Irish State 1960 – 2014: “A big task to research everything that happened over half a century with very few papers available”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

What was the first book to make an impression on you? Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. A disturbingly subversive book for an adolescent schoolboy(...)

Changing the ending of an old story
  • Books
  • September 15, 2014, 14:00

As a lifelong bookworm, I would continue to read under the covers with the light of my bicycle lamp after my mum had turned off the light in my bedroo(...)

Jane Casey: “I’d love to write something about London during the second World War. That sense of constant threat, the backdrop of the blackout and broken buildings, the breakdown of social barriers, the now-or-never frantic feel to human relations, the casual heroism – all potent stuff for a novelist”

Born and brought up in Dublin, Jane Casey has been twice shortlisted for the Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award. The Kill, the fifth novel featuri(...)

John Boyne: “Life is short; I feel no compunction to finish a novel that is boring me. I’ll read something else.” Photograph: Dave Meehan

John Boyne’s latest novel is Stay Where You Are And Then Leave. His new novel for adults – his first set in contemporary Ireland – will be publishe(...)

Sheila Agnew: I can’t write fiction at a desk. Whenever I try to do so, all creative thought abandons me

Sheila Agnew’s first book for children (aged 9+), Evie Brooks is Marooned in Manhattan, was published in Ireland and Britain in March. The second b(...)

“Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls.” Ulysses, James Joyce. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill
Eat your words
  • Books
  • May 15, 2014, 15:22

“I will marry you if you promise not to make me eat eggplant.” Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez “And once I had recognis(...)

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”  Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca (1938). Posted by Camisonup and David Russell

“Call me Ishmael.” Herman Melville, Moby Dick (1851), Posted by Austin Duffy “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was t(...)

Ralph Fiennes: “I don’t think I would have been a very good Bond.” Photograph: IBL/Rex
A Fiennes romance

On hearing that Ralph Fiennes has decided to direct and star in a film about Charles Dickens – more particularly, about the novelist’s affair with the(...)

The Invisible Woman 2:12

You’d have trouble arguing that Ralph Fiennes Is frightened of English literature’s big beasts. His first film as director, the impressively shouty Co(...)

 Fine Gael Leader Enda Kenny celebrating his election in the Mayo constituency in February 2011.  File pPhotograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

The Government is now approaching the anniversary of its third year in power and its default response to all criticism that everything was the fault o(...)