Writers aren’t continually a gift to their critics. How to make the experience of a frame of work that stretches across the unconventional, poetry, drama, journalism and criticism itself and repeatedly mocks the pretensions of critics to capture the anarchic variety of the individual skills? Máirtín Coilféir on this charming takes a look at one of the important residing writers within the Irish language not best rises to the project but gives a refreshingly new take at the writing of Alan Titley. The literary experimentalism of Titley’s first novel Meirscrí a Treibhe (1978) and the lexical exuberance of his later short story collection Eiriceachtaí Agus Scéalta Eile (1987) has often caused the writer being typecast as a feckless literary postmodernist, playing the linguistic party but not significantly exercised via what occurs when phrases are rumbled by using awkward realities. By tracing Titley’s abiding ethical concerns, from his prose fiction to his newspaper columns, Coilféir demonstrates how profoundly fallacious this view is. Indeed, the sheer force and continuity of Titley’s anti-imperialist, anti-racist and anti-capitalist polemic situates his writing inside the agency of islanders from the opposite side of the Atlantic – Édouard Glissant, Frantz Fanon and Aimé Césaire – who inside the French Caribbean, like Titley, saw no contradiction between the reinvention of language and the warfare on complacency. Michael Cronin
The Storyteller, Pierre Jarawan’s debut novel, is simultaneously a circle of relatives drama, a thriller tale replete with secrets, and insightful engagement with the chaos of Middle Eastern politics.
At the center of the narrative is a lack. Samir, the radical’s narrator, recollects the way in which his father disappeared out of his lifestyles absolutely having arrived in Berlin from Lebanon in 1982 to start a new life and the mysterious telephone calls which precipitated the event that haunts him into maturity.
Sinéad Crowe and Rachel McNicholl’s translation is nuanced and full of intensity, which means that that Jarawan’s style is showcased and no longer impeded. The non-linear nature of the narrative urges the reader ahead on a journey that by no means moves in a constant route however is no much less compelling due to that. The dating among time, reminiscence and identity are explored thru Samir’s memories and studies, inviting the reader to invest completely in an individual that is intuitively drawn and extremely relatable.
In a novel this is complex, multi-layered and always enticing, Jarawan skilfully negotiates the jobs of storyteller, mediator, and educator. Becky Long
Oh my goodness, hats off to publishers Omnibus Press, writers Celeste Bell and Zoë Howe for this tribute to the ever-splendid, utterly original punk icon and feminist Poly Styrene. In huge format, Dayglo is part ’zine, element scrapbook, crammed with a medley of voices, which includes Poly’s from diary entries (she died in 2011), with art work, lyrics and pictures. A bi-racial youngster from a ferociously operating-elegance heritage with an Irish/Scots mum and Somalian dad, she ran away at 15 clutchings £3, bummed round festivals and squats and “located self-assurance”. Famously grew to become on after a Sex Pistols gig – there were simplest 30 people there – aged 19, she ripped into the Seventies punk scene along with her foghorn voice, bin-liner costumes, and witty up-yours mindset. Her lyrics is presciently concerned at consumerism, genetic engineering, climate breakdown, identification. Tragically, she broke down, changed into wrongly identified, joined Hare Krishna and in large part disappeared from the scene. Bell, her daughter, manages to be proud and honest: life with a manic mum changed into hell and what shines out here is her mum’s brilliance, strength, fragility, and fearlessness. What a story. Rosita Boland