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Book Reviews
Pat Boran: Bull Island Haiku
Pat Boran’s 120- page, pocket-size excursion around Bull Island is a hommage in Haiku to the airy, aqueous spirit of that much-cherished place. The experience is enriched by the poet’s delicately composed black-and-white images which accompany on each facing page the texts of the poems. This imaginative collection can easily be read in its entirety at one sitting, or dipped into – hard to avoid that usage. PK
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The Girl Missing From the Window
The short stories in The Girl Missing from the Window are often topical, yet they transcend topicality in their sensitive and profound explorations.This is dirty realism, 2015 style, and every permutation of horror in What Rose Did - to take but one example is plausible in our country today, as it charts the aftermath of a young girl’s suicide attributed to cyber-bullying. Highly Recommended. PK
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On Leave Daniel Anselme
First published in French as La Permission, On Leave appeared at the height of the Franco-Algerian war in 1957. Sergeant Lachaume, Corporal Valette, and Infantryman Lasteyrie endure a mix of misunderstanding and patronising attitudes - but mostly indifference - as they try to enjoy their ten-day leave in this striking novel. Pathos, bathos and sheer brilliance. PK
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In The Beginning Was The Sea
Colombian author Tomás González short novel, In The Beginning Was The Sea was first published in Spanish in 1983. The eerie tale is shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015, the winner of which will be announced on May 27. Two lovers who go to live in a wild coastal area of Colombia, with devastating results. A bit clunky and not pared down enough even within its 154 pages, but the story is captivating. PK
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Colm Tóibín - On Elizabeth Bishop
The Irish writer Colm Tóibín has had a long fascination with the American poet Elizabeth Bishop whose poems he discovered in the 1970s. This engrossing 200-page study broadens out into an exploration of the role of silence and suppression after trauma occurs. Bishop's father died when she was 8 months old. In 1916, when the poet was 5, her mother was signed into a mental hospital. They never met again and her mother died in 1934. P K
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