Irish fiction

Cover image for Spies in Canaan by David Park

Spies in Canaan by David Park: ‘Stand up straight and true’

I’ve read and enjoyed David Park’s fiction before, admiring his quietly elegant style, and was keen to read Spies in Canaan, putting it aside for a little while after it popped through my letterbox. In the event, I read it against the backdrop of Russia’s preparations for invading Ukraine, horribly appropriate for this novel which …

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Cover image for Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan: ‘To get the best out of people, you must always treat them well’

It’s a mystery to me why I’ve not read anything by Claire Keegan before given my predilection for Irish writing, particularly as Cathy over at 746Books has spoken so highly of her work. Small Things Like These is the briefest of novellas, a mere 124 pages with a good deal of white space thrown in …

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This is Happiness by Niall Williams: On the cusp of change

Regular readers may recall that I’ve a penchant for Irish writing, a liking for the lyrical yet pared back style of William Trevor, Colm Tóibín and John McGahern which characterises so much of the fiction I’ve read from that part of the world. Not Niall Williams’ work, though, if This is Happiness is anything to …

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My Coney Island Baby by Billy O’Callaghan: Love in the afternoon

Regular readers may have noticed I’ve a weakness for Irish writing. It was that and the premise of Billy O’Callaghan’s My Coney Island Baby that attracted me to it. Two lovers, engaged in a long affair, meet for an afternoon once a month, a welcome interval in their humdrum marriages. Now each is faced with …

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