"I expect you’ll be becoming a schoolmaster, sir. That’s what most of the gentlemen does, sir, that gets sent down for indecent behaviour.” Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall
Posts tagged "Ireland"
Laura McVeigh: Journeys of the mind

Laura McVeigh: Journeys of the mind

Laura McVeigh’s debut novel Under the Almond Tree is a vibrant and tender modern fable of a young life blighted by war. Fifteen–year-old Samar is displaced from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and narrates her story from aboard the Trans-Siberian Express as it trundles east and west between Moscow and Vladivostok. With family and memories in tow, as...
About a girl

About a girl

Annie Ryan’s acclaimed stage adaptation of Eimear McBride’s 2014 Baileys Prize winning novel A Girl is a Half-formed Thing has begun its sold-out run at the Young Vic. The 80-minute multi-voiced monologue performed by Aoife Duffin reveals the thoughts and experiences of a physically and psychologically damaged young woman. It’s a triumphant and devastatingly intimate...
London models

London models

Professional models are a purely modern invention. To the Greeks, for instance, they were quite unknown. Mr Mahaffy1, it is true, tells us that Perikles used to present peacocks to the great ladies of Athenian society in order to introduce them to sit to his friend Pheidias, and we know that Polygnotus introduced into his...
A subtle undertaking

A subtle undertaking

Paddy Buckley and his story with Vincent Cullen has been with me for twenty-three years. The basic spine of the plot came to me as a single idea while I was sitting with a bereaved family, making arrangements for their son, who’d been killed in a hit-and-run accident the night before. As I sat there...
A tenor of old Ireland

A tenor of old Ireland

Some years ago I found myself living in New York City. I was there because my wife worked as a development officer for a large and well-known Irish institution, and there were bountiful potential funds in the Irish-American community. We attended many functions and dinners, and I got to meet plenty of high-net-worth Irish-Americans. I...
Leaving it all behind

Leaving it all behind

Rickard Velily’s first job in New York was as a reporter for a small local newspaper. He did not stay long in the job because it was apparent that the other people who worked in the newspaper were doing so as a sort of retirement project. He felt guilty spending time with them when, after...
Mrs Engels and me

Mrs Engels and me

Before writing my first novel, I had some very clear ideas about the kind of book it wasn’t going to be. It wasn’t going to be a) extensively researched (because ‘research destroys art’), b) set in the distant past (because ‘now’ is what’s interesting), or c) about The Woman Behind The Man (because that’s beyond...
Colm Tóibín: Loss and memory

Colm Tóibín: Loss and memory

We catch up with the prolific and acclaimed Irish author on the launch of the paperback of Nora Webster, his part-autobiographical novel about grieving and renewal. The same week saw the Sundance premiere of John Cowley and Nick Hornby’s adaptation of his earlier novel Brooklyn. Brooklyn and Nora Webster both deal with characters from Enniscorthy, the town...
A man should be able to do things

A man should be able to do things

The first time I tried to install the star nut, I had no soft blocks to cushion the dropouts and no vice to steady the fork, so I rigged up the front end and straddled the wheel, squeezing with my knees. I placed the nut in the mouth of the steering tube and covered it...
Claire Keegan: ‘Men and Women’

Claire Keegan: ‘Men and Women’

I listened recently to an interview with Teju Cole on the subject of the author and photographer’s favourite film, Kieslowski’s Red, which starts off with a rumination on the nature – and, especially, on the timing – of favourite things in general. “The impression I have,” Cole says, “is that there’s a certain timing that...