Ciarán Clark: ‘We all had the idea to make it into a proper library.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Capel Street in Dublin has a habit of throwing up surprises, and a new project there is attempting to revitalise a literary resource that had falle(...)

 Colette at work about 1940. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Recently, American writer Edmund White remarked, not for the first time, that literary figures are far more respected in France than in the US. Whe(...)

Behind bars: Harlan Coben. Photograph: Ulf Andersen/Getty

Since publishing his debut, Play Dead, in 1990, Harlan Coben has alternated between writing standalone thrillers and novels in the Myron Bolitar serie(...)

Harry F Powers, the Butcher of Clarksburg, tells a detective the details of his grisly murders Photographs: Ny Daily News archive via Getty Images

Harry Powers, born Herman Drenth, unassuming although skilled at turning sugary phrases to capture the heart of despairing middle-aged women, was a(...)

Emma Donoghue’s Room was inspired by the case of Josef Fritzl, who was jailed for life for the rape and enslavement of his daughter in a cellar over 24 years and causing his son’s death. Photograph: Reuters

In the Forest by Edna O’Brien, 2002 Set in familiar O’Brien territory in the rural west of Ireland, In the Forest is based on the real-life trage(...)

Philip Seymour Hoffman: sadly,  we will never see his Falstaff or his Captain Ahab. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

When an actor dies too young – let’s name no other names – we sometimes err on the side of hyperbolic adulation. Why not? It’s only polite. Nobody wan(...)

The Innocents
The Innocents

Henry James wasn’t all that proud of The Turn of the Screw. Yet that terrific little ghost story has proved to be the most influential and resonant of(...)

Every now and then, when meeting an interviewee, one requires some identifying information to pick him or her out from the crowd. “I’ll be wearing a b(...)

The stories and novels of the Appalachian writer Ron Rash are steeped in the culture of the American south, but if you’re thinking Rhett Butler and Sc(...)

Former US president George W Bush: as President Obama tries to escape the shadow of the Bush presidency, so too is George W trying to escape the shadow of the Bush presidency. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Do we dare to hope that the Bush administration is finally at an end? After four years of bending the constitution, the constitutional la(...)