Donnacha Dennehy: his approach to words and voices is reverential

Sometimes you really don’t end up where you thought you would. Last week the National Concert Hall presented Imagining Home, a series of concerts as (...)

Top, Donnacha Dennehy and Colm Tóibín. Bottom, Joseph Conrad and Roger Casement. Photographs: Britt Olsen-Ecker, Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images, George C Beresford/Getty Images

All this week, the National Concert Hall’s Imagining Home series of concerts is inviting artists to examine Irish identity, history and the legacy of(...)

Aleksandar Hemon: “The damage [of the Bush years] just immeasurable. The destruction is enormous.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

It’s not every day you read a novel that moves effortlessly between references to the philosopher Baruch Spinoza, eruptions of the crazed undead, a(...)

‘I have wrestled with death,” Joseph Conrad wrote in Heart of Darkness. “It is the most unexciting contest you can imagine.” For fiction writers de(...)

Meryl Streep in Sydney Pollack’s 1985 film Out of Africa, which revived interest in the 1937 memoir by  Karen Blixen or Isak Dinsen in which it was based. It drew on her experiences running a coffee-plantation in Kenya, at first with her husband, then on her own. An eccentric Danish aristocrat may not seem the most likely chronicler of life in Africa but she is a natural storyteller, blessed with a precise, elegant and commendable flair for ironic epigrams

It’s the light, it’s the heat that hits you with the force of a punch to the chest, it’s the menaced turn and stare into the eyes of an animal more(...)

Whenever critics and readers decide to engage in trade-offs about great American writers denied the attention they deserve, Denis Johnson is invariabl(...)

A recent video in The Onion site dared film critics, when reviewing Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, to break sinews in their search for pretentious me(...)

Former minister for finance Ernest Blythe who, in a previous era of austerity, cut the old-age pension still found public funds to translate Dracula i(...)

No smoke without ire: PJ O’Rourke at his farmhouse in New Hampshire in 2004. Photograph: Michele McDonald/Boston Globe

In 1979 PJ O’Rourke wrote an essay called How to Drive Fast on Drugs While Getting Your Wing-Wang Squeezed and Not Spill Your Drink. It extolled the u(...)

Colombian novelist Juan Gabriel Vásquez has won this year’s Impac award for his novel The Sound of Things Falling. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

For only the second time in its 19-year history the International Impac Dublin Literary Award has been won by a Spanish-language work. Colombian write(...)