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On the highway

Jonathan Coe, 24 March 1994

Desperadoes 
by Joseph O’Connor.
Flamingo, 426 pp., £14.99, March 1994, 0 00 224301 6
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Resurrection Man 
by Eoin McNamee.
Picador, 233 pp., £14.99, March 1994, 0 330 33274 0
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Stir-Fry 
by Emma Donoghue.
Hamish Hamilton, 232 pp., £9.99, January 1994, 0 241 13442 0
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... One explanation for this phenomenon, fairly obvious but persuasive nonetheless, is put forward by Dermot Bolger in his introduction to the recent Picador Book of Contemporary Irish Fiction. Today’s Irish writers, he claims, have inherited a self-confidence ‘and (through Joyce and Beckett) a sense of belonging within the mainstream of European ...

Remembering the taeog

D.A.N. Jones, 30 August 1990

People of the Black Mountains. Vol. II: The Eggs of the Eagle 
by Raymond Williams.
Chatto, 330 pp., £13.99, August 1990, 0 7011 3564 6
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In the Blue Light of African Dreams 
by Paul Watkins.
Heinemann, 282 pp., £13.99, August 1990, 0 09 174307 9
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Friedrich Harris: Shooting the hero 
by Philip Purser.
Quartet, 250 pp., £12.95, May 1990, 0 7043 2759 7
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The Journey Home 
by Dermot Bolger.
Viking, 294 pp., £13.99, June 1990, 0 670 83215 4
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Evenings at Mongini’s 
by Russell Lucas.
Heinemann, 262 pp., £12.95, January 1990, 0 434 43646 1
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... team of historians, in some ethnopolitical seminar. But then, perhaps Friedrich Harris is real. Dermot Bolger’s novel about Ireland, The Journey Home, is evidently in earnest. It begins with a youth and a girl hiding in a ditch, hearing the boots of policemen above their heads: they are on a journey of escape, and we might fancy them to be members of ...

Mothering

Terry Eagleton: The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Tóibín, 14 October 1999

The Blackwater Lightship 
by Colm Tóibín.
Picador, 273 pp., £15, September 1999, 0 330 38985 8
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... are is a way of trying to make contact with a mother, not a condition in itself. Roddy Doyle and Dermot Bolger rank among Dublin’s so-called Northside realists, creating a world in which compulsively blaspheming council-estate dwellers keep cocaine in the bath and horses in the kitchen. This novel, by contrast, could be described as Southside ...

Let’s Do the Time Warp

Clair Wills: Modern Irish History, 3 July 2008

Luck and the Irish: A Brief History of Change c.1970-2000 
by R.F. Foster.
Penguin, 228 pp., £8.99, July 2008, 978 0 14 101765 5
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... audience. Whether the w0rk of Anne Enright, Sebastian Barry, Colm Tóibín, Patrick McCabe and Dermot Bolger constitutes a ‘new direction in Irish fiction’ is less certain. The major trope of Irish fiction is certainly no longer Modernist paralysis but change – Tóibín’s second novel, The Heather Blazing, is a very good example of ...

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