“Declan Burke is his own genre. The Lammisters dazzles, beguiles and transcends. Virtuoso from start to finish.” – Eoin McNamee “This bourbon-smooth riot of jazz-age excess, high satire and Wodehouse flamboyance is a pitch-perfect bullseye of comic brilliance.” – Irish Independent Books of the Year 2019 “This rapid-fire novel deserves a place on any bookshelf that grants asylum to PG Wodehouse, Flann O’Brien or Kyril Bonfiglioli.” – Eoin Colfer, Guardian Best Books of the Year 2019 “The funniest book of the year.” – Sunday Independent “Declan Burke is one funny bastard. The Lammisters ... conducts a forensic analysis on the anatomy of a story.” – Liz Nugent “Burke’s exuberant prose takes centre stage … He plays with language like a jazz soloist stretching the boundaries of musical theory.” – Totally Dublin “A mega-meta smorgasbord of inventive language ... linguistic verve not just on every page but every line.Irish Times “Above all, The Lammisters gives the impression of a writer enjoying himself. And so, dear reader, should you.” – Sunday Times “A triumph of absurdity, which burlesques the literary canon from Shakespeare, Pope and Austen to Flann O’Brien … The Lammisters is very clever indeed.” – The Guardian

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Essay: ‘Walking the Tightrope: Brexit, books and the Border’ by Brian McGilloway

Brian McGilloway (right) published a long-form essay in the Irish Times last weekend, considering the ways in which Northern Irish writers have written about the post-‘Troubles’ landscape in Northern Ireland, and the possible consequences for the re-imposition of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Sample quote:
It is here where writers become most important. In the absence of a truth commission in the North, it is up to writers to tiptoe between the conflicting versions of history and to tell the truth of the past as we saw it, whether that means considering the impact of the past on the present, or as Adrian McKinty is doing in his superlative Sean Duffy series, revisiting and reliving events of the past with the benefit of hindsight.
  And if writers are indeed our truth commission, their truth of the Border is not that it was a place of security and unity, but one of division, crime and violence. And yet, there are those now wishing to reinforce that very Border again, psychologically if not physically.
  My greatest concern is that Brexit will force those of us who were prepared to move forward and shelf old allegiances and aspirations in the name of peace to look once more to the tribe, to retreat back into our own communities because the hardening of the Border in any sense requires a reassertion of a single identity.
  For the full essay, clickety-click here

No comments: