Photograph: Haydeny West/PA

Northern Irish fiction is currently having a bit of a moment: novels have been picked up by major publishing houses and Bernard McLaverty, Lucy Cal(...)

‘Reading is a choice. Not only in the obvious sense of taking up a book, or taking up one book and not another, but when reading the book at hand. It’s assessing the facts of the case (even the fictional ones) and seeing some as more relevant to a satisfying reading than others.’

George O’Brien is Professor Emeritus of English at Georgetown University, Washington DC. He is author of three memoirs, The Village of Longing, Dan(...)