Joanne Hayden

Joanne Hayden

Brazen, brilliant symphony of a novel

Brazen, brilliant symphony of a novel

Fourth Estate €18 During a key scene in Solo, the 100year-old central character imagines a conversation with his only true love, a Jewish woman he met while studying chemistry in Berlin in the 1920s. ‘‘You must know I died long a go,” Ulrich’s former

A fractured tale of a riven Ireland

A fractured tale of a riven Ireland

Patrick McCabe knows how to write obsession. His most memorable characters perform spectacular mental feats, jumping hoops, slipping down cracks and making wild, desperate lurches as they live with their pathological fixations.

Intensely drawn characters bring story home to readers

Intensely drawn characters bring story home to readers

Home. By Marilynne Robinson, Virago, €23

Play it again Sam

Play it again Sam

An intimate familiarity with Samuel Beckett’s work has enabled actor Fiona Shaw and director Deborah Warner to effectively translate one of his most insightful plays, Happy Days.

Charity and cruelty survive in the rubble of Afghanistan’s wars

Charity and cruelty survive in the rubble of Afghanistan’s wars

The Wasted Vigil. By Nadeem Aslam, Faber, €14

Proulx tears apart the traditional script

Proulx tears apart the traditional script

Fine Just the Way It Is. By Annie Proulx, Fourth Estate, €17.20

Intricate plot blurs fiction and reality

Intricate plot blurs fiction and reality

Fieldwork. By Mischa Berlinski, Atlantic Books, €16.20

Novel about silence tries to say too much

Novel about silence tries to say too much

December. By Elizabeth H Winthrop, Sceptre, €22.95

A luscious literary trip through Dublin’s soul

A luscious literary trip through Dublin’s soul

The First Verse. By Barry McCrea, Brandon, €12.70

Allende’s house still full of spirit, plus an assortment of utter chaos

Allende’s house still full of spirit, plus an assortment of utter chaos

The Sum of Our Days, By Isabel Allende, Fourth Estate, €26.60

Tale within a tale rings hollow

Tale within a tale rings hollow

A Partisan’s Daughter. By Louis de Bernières, Harvill Secker, €17

Thrillingly propulsive novel of English life

Thrillingly propulsive novel of English life

Once Upon A Time In England. By Helen Walsh. Canongate, €22

Vivid vignettes skilfully rendered in author’s first collection

Vivid vignettes skilfully rendered in author’s first collection

Dark Roots. By Cate Kennedy, Atlantic Books, €16.25

Memorable specimens of a threatened art form

Memorable specimens of a threatened art form

The New Granta Book Of The American Short Story. Edited and introduced by Richard Ford, Granta, €30

When every question becomes an answer

When every question becomes an answer

Side Effects, by Adam Phillips Hamish Hamilton, €33.