■ Mick O’Reilly, From Lucifer to Lazarus: A Life on the Left (Dublin: Lilliput Press, 2019) Mick O’Reilly’s recently launched book is a must-read for all young activists, as it records how many of the gains achieved and then taken for granted were won through hard struggle and tough battles, […]
Séamus Murphy, Having It Away: A story of Freedom, Friendship and IRA Jailbreak (Bray, Co. Wicklow: Castledermot Press, 2019; €10).
“Having it away” was a slang term in the English prisons of the 1950s for making an escape. It is the title of Séamus Murphy’s account of his imprisonment in Wakefield Prison, Yorkshire.
Jenny Farrell (editor), The Children of the Nation: An Anthology of Working People’s Poetry from Contemporary Ireland (Newcastle upon Tyne: Culture Matters, 2019).
This anthology deals with the identity of the working class, the marginalised, people in precarious employment, the unemployed, the homeless. The title of the collection recalls the pledge made in the Proclamation of 1916.
Gabriel Rosenstock, Walk with Gandhi / Bóthar na Saoirse, illustrated by Masood Hussain (Dublin: Gandhi 150 Ireland, 2019, paperback, hardback, and Ebook).
This is a beautiful book to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 2 October 1869. The book is a collection of haiga—a style of Japanese painting often accompanied by a haiku poem.
■ Michael Pierse (ed.), A History of Irish Working-Class Writing (Cambridge University Press, 2018). This is a book to be welcomed. It is the first study of such scope, attempting, as it does, to present and analyse the entire body of Irish working-class literature. It begins with the first writings […]
■ Liam O’Flaherty, Hollywood Cemetery: A Vision of the World to Come (Nuascéalta, 2019). The veteran film-maker Bob Quinn will launch this new edition of Liam O’Flaherty’s novel Hollywood Cemetery, long out of print, at 6 p.m. on Wednesday 10 April at Galway City Library. Published in London in 1935 […]
Priscilla Metscher, Pioneers of Women’s Emancipation in Ireland (Connolly Books, Dublin, 2018) This fascinating study stands out as a commentary on Irish fighters for women’s emancipation, written from a Marxist viewpoint. The author, Priscilla Metscher, examines in turn the ideas and activities of Mary Ann McCracken, Anna Doyle Wheeler, William […]
The author Anna Burns from Belfast has won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for her novel Milkman. The chairperson of the judges, the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah, described it as “incredibly original,” saying that “none of us has ever read anything like this before.” Burns is the first winner of […]
Paul Stewart, Tommy McKearney, Gearóid Ó Machail, Patricia Campbell, Brian Garvey, Between Sectarianism and Neo-Liberalism: The State of Northern Ireland and the Democratic Deficit (Glasgow: Vagabond Voices, 2018) If, like me, you mourn the loss of intelligent debate among Irish republicans as they descend into the gobbledegook of bourgeois democracy, […]
Robert Tressell’s book The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists is the first important working-class novel in English literature, written between 1906 and 1910 and first published posthumously, and very abridged, in 1914. The working class has championed this novel about their experience and written from their own point-of-view like no other working-class novel […]
One of the tragedies that befell Ireland after its partial independence was that the aspirations for this newly liberated state were almost immediately replaced, as Liam O’Flaherty put it, by the “tyranny of the Irish Church and its associate parasites, the upstart bourgeoisie, the last posthumous child from the wrinkled […]
Michael Ryan, My Life in the IRA: The Border Campaign (Dublin: Mercier Press, 2018) Mick Ryan, a member of the IRA from the age of nineteen, became one of the most active participants in the IRA’s “border campaign,” launched in December 1956 and officially abandoned in February 1962, though its […]