Derek Landy: "I write in my office, on a Mac. I know writers who work in cafes and in hotels and on planes . . . I can’t do that. I have to be at home and I have to be alone."

What was the first book to make an impression on you? Cujo, by Stephen King. I haven’t read it since I was a kid, but it terrified me. I was too yo(...)

More and more, trigger warnings are self-aggrandising hype, an author claiming a narrative power so sharp it might cut you. Photograph: Thinkstock

Reader beware: this article will offend you. Or maybe it won’t. But imagine if I tried to warn you anyway, with a spoiler alert? In recent years an(...)

Miriam Toews: spent 18 years in a small, Mennonite town in the middle of the Canadian prairies

Miriam Toews is a Canadian writer. She won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction for her novel, A Complicated Kindness, and the Rogers Writers’ Tru(...)

Manav Manoj: “What I’m most looking forward to is the World Cup. Me and my little brother will camp out in the TV room for the whole tournament, cheering for the Netherlands.” Photograph: Garry O’Neill

Well that was no fun at all. Not a big fan of Project Maths I have to admit. I’m a bit of a numbers man; I take physics and chemistry as well. I thi(...)

Seamus Heaney’s inclusion as an Unseen Poet on Paper 2 this year has been  described by many students as “just cruel”.  Photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times

Examiners sent Seamus Heaney astray again this Leaving Cert, as the poet turned up on the Unseen Poetry section and not in Prescribed Poetry - as many(...)

“Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls.” Ulysses, James Joyce. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill
Eat your words
  • Books
  • May 15, 2014, 15:22

“I will marry you if you promise not to make me eat eggplant.” Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez “And once I had recognis(...)

One of the most memorable unhinged characters in contemporary Irish fiction is Francis Brady, the troubled child narrator of Pat McCabe’s The Butcher Boy
Mad men and women in fiction
  • Books
  • May 2, 2014, 01:27

Reviewed by Eileen Battersby in The Irish Times this Saturday, Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto (Viking, £14.99) is a near-perfect account of a p(...)

1. “Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.” George Eliot, Middlemarch (1871) 2. “All happy f(...)

Megan Follows in Anne of Green Gables (1985)

Three years ago, I visited a book club whose members were girls aged between eight and 12. The next book on their list was Noel Streatfeild’s 1936 nov(...)

Maurice Riordan: the creaturely and animal poems in his fourth collection strike out in a new direction

Maurice Riordan’s fourth collection, The Water Stealer (Faber, £12.99), continues to mine the rich material that was at the heart of his outstanding 2(...)