* Being Various edited by Lucy Caldwell * Her Kind by Niamh Boyce * My Coney Island Baby by Billy O'Callaghan * Notions by John Kelly By Hilary A White Welcome to Ireland, land of saints, scholars and exceptional essayists. Yes, it seems that this little island in the Atlantic is becoming a habitat for finely calibrated, lyrical and scorchingly perceptive non-fiction musings about all corners of the human condition. This year sees two titles continue to make the case following last year's now-canonical Notes to Self by Emilie Pine. The nursery of music journalism has gone on to produce many fine writers and Ian Maleney and Sinéad Gleeson are the latest examples. The former moulded the disintegration of memory, the peaty midlands and the realm of sonic manipulation into a thing called Minor Monuments (Tramp Press), a sensual collection if ever there was one. Gleeson, meanwhile, gifted Constellations (Picador) to the world, her compendium of gold-leafed riffs, rhymes and mini epics … [Read more...] about 50 books for summer holidays
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On 6 August last year, 14 immigrant farmhands in Foggia, on the ankle of the Italian boot, were coming home from a 12-hour shift picking tomatoes in 40C heat. The minibus carrying them was registered in Bulgaria; the driver didn’t have a licence or insurance. The seats inside were wooden planks, and it was so crowded that passengers couldn’t even see out. The vehicle was travelling at speed when it collided head-on with a truck loaded with tomatoes. After the crash, you could see contorted limbs through the smashed windows. The entire front third of the vehicle was concertinaed and the roof was ripped open. Bags and clothing spilled out on to the road, and there were large patches of blood on the asphalt. Twelve of the 14 labourers died. Only two days before, also in Foggia, four labourers had died in a similar accident: 16 dead in 48 hours. In the Italian south, the lives of foreign agricultural labourers are so cheap that many NGOs have described their conditions as a … [Read more...] about Are your tinned tomatoes picked by slave labour?
Netflix have revealed the release date of Black Mirror Season 5. A while back, the existence of season 5 was hinted at in a very cryptic way when official Black Mirror Twitter account tweeted a video that looked like the wall of Black Museum, with dozens of TV screens playing scenes from memorable Black Mirror episodes. After letting us feast our eyes on the multiple episodes all flickering to life in front of us for about 15 seconds, the video signed off with a message from Netflix: 'Be Right Back'. That's the name of the memorable Season 2 episode featuring Hayley Atwell and Domhnall Gleeson. It also told us us that Black Mirror will return, without telling us anything at all. Still, just that bit of info is amazing. It's definitely better than being a monkey who needs a hug. When is Black Mirror's Season 5 release date? Wednesday June 5. Emmy wins The series won a Primetime Emmy award for Season 4's USS Callister... Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama - William Bridges, … [Read more...] about Black Mirror Season 4 got four Emmy wins
The final season of Game of Thrones finally arrives next week after a two-year hiatus. Here, 10 of its stars, including Carice van Houten, Jonathon Pryce and Gemma Whelan, tell Killian Fox, Kathryn Bromwich and Michael Hogan what the show has meant to them. CARICE VAN HOUTEN (Melisandre) Now filming Sky series Temple and a film called The Glass House. Has had a child with partner, fellow actor Guy Pearce. When Carice van Houten goes out in public, she often notices people giving her searching looks, as if they can't quite place where they've seen her before. When a woman came up once and asked her that, van Houten replied with the words, "The night is dark and full of terrors" - a key line from her terrifying fire priestess Melisandre. "The girl almost screamed," she recalls with satisfaction. "Not just because she recognised someone from TV, but as if she really thought I was scary. Which was fun!" Prior to Game of Thrones, the Dutch actor was best known for her smouldering … [Read more...] about Playing the game
After the Brexit referendum, LEADING Irish writers responded with their thoughts on what it would mean for Britain and Ireland. Today, on what should have been Brexit Day, they return to the subject On June 27th, 2016, a few days after the referendum in which the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union, I published an article, headlined UK was groomed: Irish writers throw book at Brexit, which featured the response of a broad cross-section of leading Irish writers living north of the Border and in Britain to this momentous decision. To mark March 29th, the date on which the UK was supposed to leave the EU, I asked them to reflect again on Brexit. Eimear McBrideWell, this has all gone really well, hasn’t it? Over the last two years, any hope of repairing the Brexit vote’s damage to social cohesion in the UK has been completely trampled on. Homelessness is rife. Queues at food banks are growing ever longer. The NHS is wondering how it can possibly cope … [Read more...] about ‘Brexit is aggressive and dangerously nostalgic. The UK is in for a brutal chastening’