Edna O Brien

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Edna O’Brien: recognised for “the absolute perfection of her prose”  which  broke down “social and sexual barriers for women in Ireland and beyond”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Edna O’Brien received the $50,000 Pen/Nabokov award for achievement in international literature from fellow Irish writer Colum McCann at a ceremony in(...)

New Irish writers: Olivia Kiernan, Caroline O’Donoghue, Helen Cullen, Rebecca O’Connor, Danny Dentonand Caoilinn Hughes

Helen Cullen The Lost Letters of William Woolf  (Penguin, July) William Woolf works as a letter detective in the dead letters depot of east Lond(...)

Author Philip Roth, at home in Manhattan’s Upper West Side in January 2018. Photograph: Philip Montgomery/The New York Times

With the death of Richard Wilbur in October, Philip Roth became the longest-serving member in the literature department of the American Academy of Art(...)

As the country emerged in a somewhat uplifted mood after the commemoration of 1916, you couldn’t but be struck by the analogies between the two Irelands, of Then and Now. Illustration: Paul Scott

Our national poet WB Yeats said that every Irish writer had a decision to take: whether to express Ireland or exploit it. In his day, the choice lay b(...)

Rory O’Neill (aka Panti Bliss) with Garret Kelly ahead of a performance at the Sarajevo Irish Festival. Photograph: Nerma Sofic

* When asked how Garret Kelly would like to be referred to in this piece, he says, “I usually say I’m a social entrepreneur but recently I was referre(...)

Country girls: Edna O’Brien’s invocation of women characters who dared desire more from life than the traditional domestic and sexual servitude was revolutionary. Photograph: Thurston Hopkins/Picture Post/Getty

I wakened quickly and sat up in bed abruptly. It is only when I am anxious that I waken easily and for a minute I did not know why my heart was beatin(...)

Johnny Murphy plays Estragon in Beckett’s ‘Waiting For Godot’ at the Gate.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Lapsed Catholics among Irish writers seemed to have been more favourably disposed towards Jews, according to a British author and academic. “I think (...)

Colm Tóibín: “The phrase ‘working artists engaged in productive practice’ sounds . . . like a phrase that could have been used by Stalin about recalcitrant farmers in the Soviet Union.” Photograph: Frank Miller

The writer Colm Tóibín has condemned controversial proposals from the Arts Council to cut grants for non-productive artists and to introduce audits to(...)

‘There are upsides to being an immigrant. I get to be judgmental about British institutions, brag that there isn’t a class system in Ireland and celebrity culture doesn’t work because everyone knows someone that knows someone who knows Bono’

A shocking confession for St Patrick’s Day: I don’t feel very Irish and I never have. I come from a very Republican family and our national history se(...)

 Edna O’Brien: objects to a  basement near her Knightsbridge, London home along with fashion designer Bruce Oldfield, Duchess of St Albans Gillian Beauclerk and interior designer Nina Campbell. Photograph: Alan Betson

Owners of luxury homes in the capital are flocking to include cavernous “iceberg basements” in their refurbishment plans, despite the fact that the co(...)

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