A 16th-century fresco depicting Noah’s ark in the Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore, Milan. Photograph: Getty Images

I was alarmed to read this week, in a leaked document listing Fine Gael’s 10 policy priorities for its agreement with Fianna Fáil, that a number of “a(...)

“I want four yards of books, please. They must be red and not taller than eight inches” Photograph: Getty Images

Further to the belated golden age of bookshelves – or at least their ubiquity as backdrops in TV interviews (Irishman’s Diary, April 15th) – my attent(...)

Michael Ondaatje: his novel unfolds in prose of breathtaking lyric and muscular beauty. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Four damaged people battle to make sense of the past and the present in Michael Ondaatje’s magnificent mystery romance The English Patient. Set in no(...)

Canadian-Sri Lanka author Michael Ondaatje speaks after being named the winner of the Golden Man Booker for his novel 'The English Patient' at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on Sunday. Photograph: Isabel Infantes/PA

Beauty and doomed romance has decided the Golden Man Booker. Victory for Michael Ondaatje’s seductive war time thriller, The English Patient, over fiv(...)

A branch of Attica Bank in Athens: the effect on Greek self-confidence of the ongoing Attica saga is far-reaching. Photograph: Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images

If history did not continually repeat itself, we would be unable to learn its lessons. Consider this: “There is nothing that can be done about Greece.(...)

Author Liz Nugent. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Liz Nugent has spent most of her working life in broadcasting and has written for TV and Radio. Her first novel, Unravelling Oliver, published this(...)

A story encircled by foam: looking out from Inishvickillane. Illustration: Michael Viney

On a clear day the islands line up along our horizon like serial episodes of our early connubial life, launched by a corncrake’s relentless serenade t(...)

Trumpeted as the tale of a bohemian marriage, between the writer Lawrence Durrell and his first wife, Nancy Myers, this is more of an insight i(...)