Claire Hennessy: “You go in and you ask for the morning-after pill and the nice man behind the counter goes a curious shade of eggshell or vanilla.”

It’s really only when you try explaining The Room of Shame to your lesbian friends that you realise how mad it is. “So, like, you go in, you ask for (...)

OMG

Here are the shortlisted entries for this year’s Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2017. TheJournal.ie Best Irish Published Book of the Year The(...)

The strange thing about the Harry Potter books is that Harry is, by far, the least interesting character in them. Photograph:  Graeme Robertson/Getty Images

  The plots I first encountered Harry Potter when I was 23. It was 1998, and a friend who was working in the children’s section in Waterstone’s (...)

Leonard Cohen takes a bow on stage in  Toronto in 2008. Photograph:  Aaron Harris/AP Photo/The Canadian Press

Vona Groarke “Dear Vona Groarke, I’m happy you exist.” July 18, 2000. Signed (in blue ink), ‘Leonard Cohen’. We were two poets trying to make a go o(...)

A Child of Books, by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston, celebrates the joy of reading and has the feel of a classic

While adult readers are more likely to pack a Kindle in their holiday suitcase than a stack of books, younger audiences have proved more resistant to (...)

 Megan Abbott: Sharp and precise prose. Photograph: Drew Reilly

‘Some people would always be jealous of Devon, the way they were jealous of all beautiful and brilliant things,” Katie Knox reflects on her daughter,(...)

Writer Holly Bourne explores contemporary feminism and other tricky issues

Think of picture books and we often imagine cosy bedtime reads about teddy bears and picnics, forgetting that many of the titles out there explore gri(...)

Lois Kapila of the Dublin Inquirer. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Dublin Inquirer: ‘Our goals are really modest’ Lois Kapila, Eddie Wilson and Cónal Thomas are sitting at a kitchen table in the little room in Kil(...)

Speak by Laure Halse Anderson paved the way for other books where rape wasn’t just something that happened to a supporting character as a cautionary tale: its most obvious successor in the US is Courtney Summers’s All The Rage. Christa Desir’s Fault Line  explores the frustrations of a teenage boy whose  girlfriend is gang-raped and who responds in a way he doesn’t quite understand

A disclaimer, first: I adore Louise O’Neill, as both a person and a writer – she is kind and funny and smart alongside having tremendous skill and (...)

A new monthly salon series hosted by writer Selina Guinness as part of her dlr residency will focus on  literary journals,   starting  on October 7th in the dlr LexIcon Studio in Dún Laoghaire, with readers Mark O’Connell and Sally Rooney, and editor Brendan Barrington

“When it comes to supporting emerging writers, Irish literary journals are far superior to the ones in the UK.” As both a writer and editor of The (...)

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