* Being Various edited by Lucy Caldwell * Her Kind by Niamh Boyce * My Coney Island Baby by Billy O’Callaghan * Notions by John Kelly By Hilary A White Welcome to Ireland, land of saints, scholars and exceptional essayists. Yes, it seems that this little island in the Atlantic is becoming a habitat for finely calibrated, lyrical and scorchingly perceptive non-fiction musings about all corners of the human condition. This year sees two titles continue to make the case following last year’s now-canonical Notes to Self by Emilie Pine. The nursery of music journalism has gone on to produce many fine writers and Ian Maleney and Sinéad Gleeson are the latest examples. The former moulded the disintegration of memory, the peaty midlands and the realm of sonic manipulation into a thing called Minor Monuments (Tramp Press), a sensual collection if ever there was one. Gleeson, meanwhile, gifted Constellations (Picador) to the world, her compendium of gold-leafed riffs, rhymes and mini epics about art, the feminine, body politics, motherhood, and the absurd medical hand Ireland’s favourite woman of letters has been dealt in her life. All those years reading, interviewing and celebrating other writers seem to have paid off. Off… Read full this story
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