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, Fergal Tobin looks at a book celebrating the history of Irish publishing by the late Tony Farmar; Paula Nolan from Messenger Publications tells the interesting story behind ‘Saintly Feasts’ and Tony Flynn rediscovers a lost gem of children’s literature with ‘Celtic Wonder Tales’.
Tony Canavan drops in on Dundalk’s Roe River Books, Kit de Waal tells us about her new favourite place to write, and the stage adaptation of Louise O’Neill’s ‘Asking For It’ is reviewed in a new feature ‘Page to Stage’.
International Women’s Day falls on March 8th and, appropriately, Marian Broderick comments on the challenges involved in writing women’s biography in the ‘Opinion’ piece while Anne O’Leary does an in-depth review of ‘Madam Politician: the women at the table of Irish political power’.
As well our usual round-ups of débuts (Sue Leonard), crime (Paula O’Hare), poetry (Fred Johnston) and books as Gaeilge (Cathal Póirtéir), the First Flush column covers all the books received since the last issue.
All of us at Books Ireland were deeply shocked by the untimely death of Eileen Battersby. Eileen had long been a friend of the magazine and began to review novels for us last year. Unfortunately, our Jan./Feb. issue was with the printers when Eileen’s death occurred, meaning that we were unable to make any reference to her in that issue. We hope, however, to make up for that with a tribute to Eileen in this current issue.