‘You don’t really need drink, in fact it’s probably been holding you back.’ Photograph: Getty Images

The Signora said it was a tragedia and we presumed someone had drowned. The ambulance was parked on the road and by the sea wall two paramedics were v(...)

Christine Dwyer Hickey: ‘The first time I was in Armagh city was 10 years ago and the tension that had long since left Belfast was still there on the apple-scented air.’

When I was a child I believed completely in God. This was not something I had picked up at home –ours was not a house for religion. Indeed, my father,(...)

‘Nothing is ordinary in India. And everything is diminished by comparison, even poverty.’ Above, two homeless people in Mumbai.  Photograph:  INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images

A cold February morning in 2005 when I returned to Dublin. A wet dishcloth of a day. And out on the motorway, a grim sort of silence, so that for a mo(...)

Culture Ireland’s Showcase Programme will support artists appearing at three festivals in  Edinburgh in the coming months.

Irish artists off to Edinburgh A star-studded line-up of Irish literature and theatre will feature at festivals in Edinburgh this month with the (...)

Graham Norton in Bantry. Photograph: Darragh Kane

  1 Stories come from the strangest places What inspires Danielle McLaughlin to write a short story? A character? A situation? At a fr(...)

Christine Dwyer Hickey: Ulysses and Mrs Dalloway “inspired me to approach my work as follows: take a character, place the camera inside his or her head, switch on the sound and lower them down into a city, then let them off and see what happens…” Photograph: Lorna Fitzsimons

What was the first book to make an impression on you? Probably the Irish Racing Form Book as my father always had his nose in it and I kept nag(...)

Christine Dwyer Hickey and her brother Owen Dwyer at the launch of  The Dancer in 2005. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

In 2004, Christine Dwyer Hickey published Tatty, a remarkable book for its pathos, its dry humour, and the controlled beauty of its style, but perhaps(...)

Me time: Sarah Bannan writes each day from 4.30am to 6.30am. “At that time nobody can disturb me – not my husband or my daughter or my email, nor even social media.” Illustration: CSA/Getty

I write in a tiny crawl space in my one-bedroom cottage every morning from 4.30am to 6.30am. At that time nobody can disturb me – not my husband or(...)

Christine Dwyer Hickey: “In its energy and sweep, her Dublin trilogy resembles the 19th-century novel, but Tatty establishes Dwyer Hickey firmly in the modernist tradition.” Photograph: Eric Luke

When I read Christine Dwyer Hickey’s Dublin trilogy, I was impressed by her vigour and by the breadth of her imagination. Those qualities were impr(...)

Illustration: Thinkstock

Ireland will get its first Laureate for Fiction in January 2015, chosen from a longlist of 34 writers announced recently. The €150,000 laureateship(...)