From Jane Eyre’s madwoman in the attic to Captain Ahab in Moby Dick and Francie in The Butcher Boy, madness is a recurring and compelling theme in literature

‘I had to remould my brain to write “The Follow”. It involved three trips to Borneo and years of reading and studying and thinking hard about human beings and our place in the natural world’

These are some of our favourite opening lines - could you write one of your own? Post it in the comment box below. We might even find a suitable prize for the best or funniest


The Irish Times ePaper

How does a post-Brexit world shape the identity and relationship of these islands

Inquests into the nightclub fire that led to the deaths of 48 people