Colum McCann: “I am recovering quickly and I’ve been overwhelmed by the generous response from friends and strangers alike.” Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A man has been charged with assaulting award-winning Irish novelist Colum McCann at the end of June in New Haven, Connecticut. US police say Connectic(...)

 Writer Colum McCann: attacked in New Haven hotel. File  Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Award-winning Irish writer Colum McCann has described an attack on him in the US in which he was left with severe facial injuries as “ a shocking, cow(...)

Eimear McBride: depicts in her own singular language a young woman’s relationship with her brother, and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Eimear McBride has won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award for her debut novel, A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing. The prize was announced as(...)

Anakana Schofield: Every book I read seems to change the way I think about fiction. Sometimes they drive me to despair by indicating how much more we need to demand from our fiction and other times they send me into orbit with the possibilities they reveal

Anakana Schofield is the author of the award-winng debut novel, Malarky, which is out now in paperback, a funny and moving tale of sexual shenaniga(...)

A mural honouring Frederick Douglass in Belfast.

Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave forced to flee the US in 1845, aboard the paddlesteamer Cambria out of Boston, when his autobiography, Narrati(...)

Brendan Behan aboard the Cunard Liner Queen Elizabeth, at Pier 90, North River, Manhattan. Photograph: Fred Morgan/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

I was standing in a thrift store on Long Island. There were walls and walls of books, but the long-term emigrant’s eye was drawn, in the usual (...)

Darragh McKeon: influenced by Colum McCann and Andrei makine

When Darragh McKeon began to write his debut novel, set in the dying days of the Soviet Union, he could hardly have imagined that by the time i(...)

Colum McCann:  “The only things worth doing are the things that might possibly break your heart” – the line quoted by Maryland governor Martin O’Malley. Photograph: Alan Betson

Literary prizes and academic postings are all very well, but a writer hasn’t truly arrived until his work is quoted by politicians on a regular bas(...)

The banquet hall at Lismore Castle in Co Waterford. Photograph: Frank Miller

The blazing logs in wide hearths; the portraits; the tapestries glowing above the shaded lamps; the vaulting roof-beams and arched, coloured windows; (...)

Seamus Heaney: to read the extraordinary outpouring of grief, memory and mourning is to realise his death was a unique – and a uniquely Irish – event. Photograph: Neil Drabble/Camera Press

Many years ago I was invited to a dinner in the Department of Foreign Affairs attended by Seamus Heaney, among others, and presided over by the then t(...)