Jo Baker: ‘If you haven’t got a story to hang your information on, no amount of research is going to make a novel sing’

There is a cliche when it comes to writing: if in doubt, leave it out. Or, when it comes to fiction: just do some proper research. Providing an inf(...)

Emma Donoghue, Dermot Bolger, Liz Nugent and Karen Joy Fowler

A job scanning old regional newspapers (Niamh Boyce’s The Herbalist); a walk around a university campus with a child (Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Co(...)

Oona Frawley: nascent potential

In the past two years Irish writing has become a crowded, vibrant place. Stalwarts jostle for elbowroom alongside new voices, and these names –(...)

The inspiration for Niamh Boyce’s novel came from a 1942 news clipping from the Leinster Leader, about a herbalist who was arrested for ‘serious offences against girls’. Photograph: Alan Betson

When author Niamh Boyce was 19, she landed a job archiving the Leinster Leader. One day, she spotted a story “no longer than the width of a thumb” abo(...)

Impac shortlisted: Kevin Barry. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Last month, over a seven-day period, a flurry of lists appeared that, if nothing else, got people tutting, griping and generally talking about (...)