Graham Norton in Bantry. Photograph: Darragh Kane

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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

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Next week, in the Irish Times Book Club, we will publish an article by John Boyne himself, in which the author opens up about his own experience of abuse at the hands of priests, the theme of his latest novel

A History of Loneliness (Doubleday, £14.99) by John Boyne, bestselling author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, is the first choice for The Irish (...)

Fighting Words: Roddy Doyle’s writing venture for the young will get proceeds from the compendium Beyond the Stars: Twelve Tales of Adventure, Magic and Wonder (HarperCollins, £12.99), compiled by Sarah Webb

There is a moment in David Almond’s A Song for Ella Grey (Hodder, £12.99) when Claire, the novel’s narrator, describes how she and her classmates regu(...)