Raymond Carver called it “smoked-glass prose”, writing that is blurry or not clear in sentiment. It is the downfall of many novice writers, and som(...)

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.(...)

‘Guy de Maupassant  the realist saw the mean-minded pettiness of men, the civil servants and peasants with hearts as dried as peas.’ Photograph:  Hulton Archive/Getty Images

His was a vile death, the madness caused by syphilis and its related physical horrors. It was an end that he knew he was facing and had tried to avoid(...)

As darkness fell, we entered Tunis, described by Guy de Maupassant as the most striking and attractive town in Africa, and when Clancy emerged (...)