Viv Albertine: “Yoko Ono opened up my mind, better than drugs. Short sentences. Sort of surreal but also practical and direct. Concepts made playful and palatable. She showed me you can do anything and go anywhere in your head.”

Songwriter and musician Viv Albertine was the guitarist in the hugely influential female punk band The Slits. A confidante of the Sex Pistols and t(...)

Year of the Brighton bombing: Adrian McKinty’s In the Morning I’ll Be Gone is set in 1984, and Margaret Thatcher casts a long shadow over the events in it. photograph: PA

A Catholic officer in the RUC during the 1980s, Sean Duffy is an insider with an outsider’s perspective, that classic staple of the crime novel. Adria(...)

Breaking Bad

Acornucopia of cultural riches this year left us reaching for superlatives. Everything from Breaking Bad on television to Daft Punk in music, Gone Gir(...)

As a child I spent great swathes of time, when I could have been outside running amok among the privet hedges and washing lines in my Crimplene slacks(...)

The woman behind the counter in Walgreens drug store on Michigan Avenue remarks on my accent and tells me she has been to Ireland twice, both t(...)