March/ April 2014
Established in 1976, Books Ireland magazine remains the only publication of its kind with a dedicated focus on books of Irish interest, Irish publisher or Irish author. Published bi-monthly, it lists and reviews c. 1000 books per year and is THE essential guide to the world of Irish books and writing.
‘Books Ireland provides a breathing space, a garden if you will, where literature may continue to be valued for its own sake and discussed and appreciated in a climate of intellectual freedom and relaxation.’
Eamonn Kelly, playwright and award-winning short-storyist.
In this issue we celebrate one aspect of Ireland’s literary heritage with our Book Focus by Alan Hayes on the story behind ‘Reading the Future: new writing from Ireland’, celebrating Ireland’s oldest bookshop, Hodges Figgis in Dublin.
The contemporary scene also comes under the spotlight in our regular feature on literary festivals - this time focusing on a few that give us an insight into what is happening across this increasingly important aspect of the literary calendar. Peter Kennedy explains how Hong Kong’s fascination with Irish literature goes beyond Bloomsday, while closer to home but further back in time, Carina MacNally reports on a fascinating exhibition based on Irish manuscripts from St Gallen, Switzerland.
Bartholomew Begley looks at three recent books about philosophy that have an Irish connection; Kevin Kiely reviews a book about Ezra Pound and Ireland; Rachael English tells us about her favourite childhood library; and in our Behind the Screen slot, we recall the stir created by Edna O’Brien’s ‘The Lonely Girl’ and the film version that provides an unusual view of Dublin in the swinging sixties.
We have also our usual features: the surveys of recent books from début authors, crime fiction, books as Gaeilge, and our new column on poetry books. Add to this the wider range of reviews and First Flush listing and we have an issue for all tastes.