At the age of 85, Edna O'Brien has just brought out one of her best and most ambitious novels yet. The Little Red Chairs is personal and political; charming and grotesque; a novel of manners and a novel of monsters.
Tana French's latest novel follows Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy, a police detective with a rage for order, as he investigates a young family's murder in a suburban Dublin development gone bust. Critic Maureen Corrigan says Broken Harbor is as much social criticism as it is whodunit.
Both Close and co-star Janet McTeer have received Academy Award nominations for their roles in the period drama. Set in Dublin before World War I, it centers on a woman who finds more freedom by living life as a men.
The Irish actor plays a cynical, small-town cop who is thrust out of his comfort zone in the black comedy The Guard. "I've met men like [my character] quite a lot," Gleeson says. "People who are underused a little bit and have terribly sharp wit, but pretend to be a little bit stupid."
William Trevor has been writing for more than 50 years and has won more literary awards than we have time to list. A volume of selected stories has recently been published, and Fresh Air's book critic Maureen Corrigan has an appreciation.
The celebrated Irish memoirist, who had been battling lung cancer, died May 9. Her 1996 memoir — about growing up poor in the Ireland of the '40s and '50s — became a best-seller. Terry Gross talked to her in 2001.
His new feature film, The Magdalene Sisters, is based on the real-life laundries run by the Sisters of the Magdalene Order in Ireland near the end of the 19th century. Girls considered wayward or unruly were sent there as punishment for their sins and forced to do labor under sweat-shop conditions. The last of the laundries was shut down in 1996. Mullan's film follows the lives of four young women and takes place from 1964 to 1969. Before writing and directing, Mullan was best known for his acting and starred in The Big Man, Riff-Raff, Shallow Grave and Trainspotting.
Film critic David Edelstein reviews The Magdalene Sisters by Scottish writer/director Peter Mullan. It's based on Ireland's actual Magdalene Asylums where Catholic girls accused of "moral crimes" (anything from getting pregnant, to being too attractive, to accusing a man of rape) were sent to work in laundries to atone for their sins. These virtual prisons finally closed their doors in 1996.
Irish writer Nuala OFaolain. Her first novel, My Dream of You, (Riverhead Books) has just come out in paperback. Her critically acclaimed 1998 memoir, Are You Somebody? The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman was on the New York Times bestseller list. OFaolain is also a columnist for the Irish Times; she has been at the paper for over 12 years.
Actress Anjelica Huston, the star of the films "The Grifters," "Prizi's Honor," and "The Dead" and daughter of film director John Huston. She directs and stars In the new film "Agnes Brown" adapted from the Brendan O'Carroll book, "The Mammy."
Journalist and author Martin Dillon is considered an expert on the conflict in Northern Ireland. His three books: "God and the Gun," "The Shankill Butchers," and "The Dirty War." all bestsellers in his native Ireland have just been published for the first time in the U.S. Martin Dillon has worked for the BBC in Northern Ireland for 18 years. He has also produced news segments for CNN, ABC, CBC, and NPR. He currently lives in New York City.
Barry is best known for his play, "The Steward of Christendom," as well as for his commentaries on the troubles in Ireland for the The New York Times. He's written a new novel, "The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty" (Viking). It's about a naive Irishman who joins the British Merchant Navy during World War I, and then is blacklisted from his beloved hometown by the Royal Irish Constabulatory. A review from Kirkus Reviews says the book is "one of the best novels out of Ireland in many a year."
Film director/writer/producer Jim Sheridan. His films include "My Left Foot" and "In the Name of the Father" both which starred Daniel Day-Lewis. His latest film is "The Boxer" which also stars Day-Lewis. The story is about former IRA member who returns home after 14 years in prison.