A Shock

In Keith Ridgway's luminous new novel, the economic circumstances of his characters infect their confidence, their relationships, their self worth. They own nothing—not even their own stories.

Criticism 15th November 2021

Normal Sheeple

"We love Ross O'Carroll-Kelly! Should we?" — Kevin Power considers the evolving fates and functions of the Ross O'Caroll Kelly novels, which to date have sold over a million copies.

Criticism 30th October 2021

Gold Light Shining

Bebe Ashley's debut poetry collection "is an ambitious meditation on music, fandom, projection, and yes, Harry Styles".

Criticism 30th September 2021

Keeping the House

Lisa McInerney finds many wonders in Tice Cin's transgressive debut novel which "dodges the usual rules of storytelling".

Criticism 16th September 2021

Acts of Desperation

As an "informal experiment", Kevin Power examines Megan Nolan's debut novel – and its reviews – and reflects on the purpose and meaning of literary criticism.

Criticism 23rd June 2021

The Ballad of Lord Edward and Citizen Small 

In Neil Jordan's new novel, the author invents the psyche of an enslaved Black person, "a task as ambitious as it is awkward for a white man to do".

Criticism 12th May 2021

Can’t Get You Out Of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World

To sit through Adam Curtis's latest offering is to experience a work of art that is alternately lush, oneiric, austere, startling, thrilling, amusing, persuasive, shocking, glib, beautiful.

Criticism 15th April 2021

We Are Not In The World

Conor O'Callaghan's "propulsive" novel is about the process of coming to see—coming to understand—the recent past.

Criticism 31st March 2021

That Old Country Music

If a Kevin Barry character declares themselves a romantic, they’re generally headed for trouble.

Criticism 10th March 2021

Small Axe

Steve McQueen’s films are steeped in the political, and in the complicated humanity and inhumanity of ordinary people pushed to the extraordinary.

Criticism 24th February 2021

Mantel Pieces

To watch Hilary Mantel go to work on the world is one of contemporary literature’s unalloyed pleasures.

Criticism 10th February 2021

Washing Up

Derek Mahon's collection is the culmination of a life dedicated to language, the final word from an extraordinary talent.

Criticism 21st January 2021

A Ghost In The Throat

Doireann Ní Ghríofa's 'exhilarating' prose debut investigates the inherited script of motherhood and the occluded history of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonnaill.

Criticism 25th November 2020

Just Us: An American Conversation

In her latest exploration of racial imaginaries in the US, Claudia Rankine stresses the importance of difficult conversations in the face of racist state violence.

Criticism 10th November 2020

How To Hex Things With Words

Caitlín Doherty follows some mystical threads through recent occult-inspired poetry and publishing.

Criticism 30th October 2020


Emma Cline's exquisitely detailed work of social observation falls back on familiar tropes, allowing some characters more complexity than others.

Criticism 23rd October 2020

simmering of a declarative void

Robert Kiely's debut collection is a brilliant and urgently contemporary appeal to the reader.

Criticism 9th September 2020

Breasts and Eggs

Mieko Kawakami's latest is a novel of uncertainty, absence, and bodily obsession.

Criticism 27th August 2020

The White Dress

Nathalie Legér's blend of novel, art history and memoir is a study in 'to-be-looked-at-ness'.

Criticism 12th August 2020


Tara McEvoy considers joy and formal constraint in Alice Lyons' 'extraordinary' debut novel.

Criticism 23rd July 2020

The Dominant Animal

Emily S. Cooper finds a quiet beauty in Kathryn Scanlan's spare, unflinching stories.

Criticism 30th June 2020

Minor Detail

Adania Shibli's third novel, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette, considers the implications of historiography under occupation.

Criticism 11th June 2020

The Ministry of Guidance and other stories

Golnoosh Nour's short story collection is an 'inescapably political' exploration of queerness and national identity.

Criticism 26th May 2020


Caleb Klaces' experimental blend of poetry and prose describes the state of new fatherhood with a radical note of tenderness.

Criticism 27th April 2020

Nietzsche And The Burbs

Lars Iyer's latest philosophical novel is a “paean to those languorous summer afternoons, on the cusp of adulthood, when time stretches to eternity.”

Criticism 9th April 2020


Oisín Fagan's first novel is at once shocking, sad and wise; a book which looks boldly at the mysteries of life, and leaves them beautifully intact

Criticism 19th March 2020


Anne Enright's seventh novel is 'an intricate portrait of the artist as a woman, and an incisive commentary on her "role" in the early Irish republic.'

Criticism 20th February 2020

The Storyteller Essays

Speaking from the epicentre of destruction of a civilisation, Walter Benjamin's essays express a deep concern for the state of literature and society.

Criticism 27th January 2020

Republic of Shame

Caelainn Hogan’s new book documents the 'shame-industrial complex' of mother-and-baby homes and Magdalene laundries, a system that reached into every nook and cranny of Irish society.

Criticism 16th December 2019

The Topeka School

Ben Lerner's third novel goes back to the 1990s to search for the roots of contemporary crises in language and masculinity.

Criticism 2nd December 2019



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