Clockwise from top left, Alex Barclay, Marty Whelan, Louise Phillips and Kevin Barry

  Alex Barclay My livingroom bookshelves are my favourite part of the house. They arrived as big, filthy, spider-covered pieces of oak(...)

Brian Friel “was fatherly, kind, practical and funny. He seemed to look deep into the centre of things.” File photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

It all began with a note, welcoming me to sit in on the dress rehearsal of the revival of his masterwork, Faith Healer. Brian Friel said it wou(...)

Imogen Stuart and Edna O’Brien: ‘Two amazing women’  being honoured ‘by their peers in the most fitting way possible for artists’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Three artists were today elected to become Saoithe in Aosdána in a ceremony presided over by President Michael D Higgins. Artist Imogen Stuart and wr(...)

 ‘Jennifer Johnston’s fiction reminds us of the indeterminacy of the past, and the dangers of idealising any one version of Ireland’s recent history, or our own family history.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill / The Irish Times

Widely regarded as one of Ireland’s foremost contemporary novelists, Jennifer Johnston occupies a curious place in Irish literature. Although her tale(...)

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(...)

Contenders?: Anne Enright, Eimear McBride and Donal Ryan (top row); and Kevin Barry, Belinda McKeon and Jennifer Johnston (bottom row)

Writers’ incomes made headlines this summer. When the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, a UK organisation that gathers and distributes roy(...)

‘New Yorker’ baseball writer Roger Angell (left) with retired baseball player  George Brett during a reception in Angell’s honour in Cooperstown, New York, at which he received the JG Taylor Spink Award, the Baseball Hall of Fame’s writing honour. Photograph: Nathaniel Brooks/The New York Times

Roger Angell takes off his brown J Press sports coat and blue cap, yanks out his hearing aids, stashes his cane and sits down for a shave and hairc(...)

Colin Barrett: hidden and at times disturbing depths lurk beneath the surface bravado. Young Skins was published in Britain last spring by Jonathan Cape.

An Irish writer has held off a strong challenge from four Americans and a Scot to win the 2014 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. By w(...)

 Ballroom of Romance: Caretaker Clement Maguire puts the finishing touches to the Rainbow Ballroom, Glenfarne, Co Leitrim. Photograph: Brian Farrell.

On a sweltering hot day this week, a group of bikers from New Zealand screeched to a halt outside the famous ballroom in Glenfarne, Co Leitrim, and wh(...)

Yiyun Li: ‘Do you know that feeling of sadness when you glimpse an old part of a city that has been erased from history?’ Photograph: Drew Kelly/The New York Times

There is no prerequisite for becoming a writer, but in many ways Yiyun Li had the odds stacked against her. Born in Beijing in 1972, Li (...)