The Refugees

The Refugees

My friend and German translator, Jörg Rademacher, sent me two (bilingual) books on refugees and displacement. The Austrian composer Ernst Krenek’s novella, The Three Overcoats of Anton K., influenced by The Trial, is a Kafkaesque nightmare about a trapped man living...
The Hard Crowd

The Hard Crowd

My review of Rachel Kushner’s book of essays, The Hard Crowd, was published in last Saturday’s Arts Section of the Irish Examiner. Here it is: THE title derives from lyrics of a Cream song, White Room: ‘At the party she was kindness in the hard crowd.’ It...
People Massacred While Heath Sailed The Sea

People Massacred While Heath Sailed The Sea

I stood in front of the gates to his long driveway. The £5m house, inside a two-acre walled garden, was huge for a one-parent family (with no family), but I smirked with satisfaction at the fact that the council had forgotten to take down the sign.* When I was growing...
‘Honest and Painful’

‘Honest and Painful’

Andrée Murphy reviews the recently published memoir, Where Grieving Begins, by former IRA Volunteer Pat Magee, with a foreword by Jo Berry whose father was killed in the Brighton Bombing. It is published by Pluto Press. Pat was sentenced to multiple terms of life...
A Story of Revenge

A Story of Revenge

24 April is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. Some years ago I wrote about one consequence of those mass killings for some of its perpetrators in my book, Rebel Columns. Here it is republished for the anniversary. A STORY OF REVENGE ‘They took everyone away… They...
Behan and the IRA

Behan and the IRA

On this day in March 1964 Brendan Behan died at the age of forty one from alcoholism. Before he became an internationally-acclaimed author he worked as a house painter and also joined the IRA, initially as a courier. Behan was a friend and comrade of my Uncle Harry, a...