At Provost House, Trinity College, at the awarding of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature were Patricia Rooney, the winner Colin Barrett and former US ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

There was at least one happy Mayo man on the planet last night, even if he has listed football as one of his interests, “playing as well as watching.(...)

Illustration: Clare Brennan

When he wasn’t writing very short stories or novels about war, Ernest Hemingway also came up with pithy remarks about being an author. “There is nothi(...)

Yiyun Li: ‘Do you know that feeling of sadness when you glimpse an old part of a city that has been erased from history?’ Photograph: Drew Kelly/The New York Times

There is no prerequisite for becoming a writer, but in many ways Yiyun Li had the odds stacked against her. Born in Beijing in 1972, Li (...)

Yiyun Li: she has written a darkly, perhaps oppressively intelligent study of human nature. Photograph: Tony Avelar/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

It should be easy to sympathise with a girl who has travelled alone, across China, on a nine-hour train journey, badly dressed and burdened by (...)

 Colum McCann, author of TransAtlantic. Photograph: Alan Betson

One of Britain’s most consistently original novelists, Jim Crace, emerged on the publication of his “final” novel, Harvest, last spring as an early fa(...)