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 (...)

John Boyne: there’s enough trust to be able to say, I don’t need any praise, just tell me what’s not working; Bill Scott-Kerr: My attitude is very much that an editor is there to be a resource to the writer. We are there as a midwife, a sounding board, a mirror and a safety net

John Boyne was born in Ireland in 1971. He is the author of nine novels for adults and four for younger readers, including the international bestse(...)

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(...)

Hall of fame: (Clockwise from left) Patrick McCabe; Frank McGuinness; Deirdre Madden; Colum McCann; Neil Jordan; Joseph O’Connor; Sebastian Barry and Dermot Healy

When Frank McGuinness, the playwright, was 16 a teacher told him that he’d never get to university, that nobody from his background in Buncran(...)

John Boyne’s central character in A History of Loneliness is very wishy-washy, the embodiment of a blasphemous blessed trinity of monkeys – he sees no(...)

The episcopal ordination of Monsignor Eamon Martin as Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh. The prostration at an ordination makes the Christ of Gethsemane present to the man about to share in the priesthood of Christ. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Loneliness and the priesthood
  • Books
  • November 21, 2014, 12:48

For many people, loneliness is that facet of human existence that they most dread and from which they tirelessly labour to escape. Yet, loneliness (...)

The best portrayals of priests manage to capture the luminous quality of their vocation. In Georges Bernanos’s The Diary of a Country Priest, something of the transcendent gives a mysterious voltage to the quotidian concerns of the pastor at the heart of the novel.

Please pray for the novelist who attempts to create a priest character. He needs our prayers if he is to avoid resorting to hackneyed stereotypes or p(...)

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(...)

Though John Boyne’s new novel is his first set primarily in Ireland,  part of the book takes place in Rome, in particular in the enclosed world of the Vatican City. Are these two locales equally well evoked? Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

On Monday we announced A History of Loneliness by John Boyne as our first Irish Times Book Club reading choice. Not to boast, but I’ve already fini(...)

Mary Costello: her debut novel, Academy Street, is published by Canongate today

Mary Costello has double cause to celebrate today as on the same day that her debut novel, Academy Street, is published by Canongate, it has just b(...)