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Dublin

Tana French’s “The Witch Elm” Delivers Spooky Suspense

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I confess, starting to read Tana French’s new novel, The Witch Elm  (Viking), I missed the Dublin Murder Squad, a revolving cast of investigating detectives featured in her previous books. It was a fine ensemble to fall into: Rob Ryan, the tormented policeman who flared and crashed in In the Woods; Cassie Maddox, who so seamlessly blended into the riddle of The Likeness; Frank Mackey, seeking the truth of his long-lost love’s murder in Faithful Place; Antoinette Conway taking on an entire girl’s school in The Secret Place; Scorcher Kennedy turning over Ireland’s economic woes in Broken Harbor; Stephen Moran and Antoinette Conway probing their way into a neighborhood’s troubles in The Trespasser. But by page 15 of The Witch Elm,…

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Colm Tóibín Examines the Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce

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“A father…is a necessary evil,” according to Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses. But Colm Tóibín would hazard a guess that James Joyce genuinely felt this way about his father. This is just one nugget of truth from Tóibín’s latest non-fiction Mad, Bad, Dangerous To Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce (Scribner). Not only is this book an incredibly revealing and thoroughly researched secondary source, but it is also lyrical and personal. Tóibín begins his tale with a walk through the infamous city of Dublin and remarks on the historical sites from Sweny’s chemist of Ulysses to Oscar Wilde’s childhood home and to many more important landmarks. Immediately, the reader is transported to Dublin and can smell the city, feel the stones beneath…

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This St. Patrick’s Day, move beyond green beer

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Expand your knowledge of Irish food this St. Patrick’s Day with the new cookbook My Irish Table (Ten Speed Press, March), by chef Cathal Armstrong and food writer David Hagedorn. Armstrong, who grew up in Dublin and now works in Washington D.C., was named as one of Food & Wine Magazines “10 Best New Chefs 2006,” and is the owner and chef of Restaurant Eve; Eamonn’s: A Dublin Chipper; and Society Fair. He is also a board member of Fresh Farm Markets, the founder of Chefs as Parents, and was honored by the White House as a “Champion of Change.” Armstrong’s father—who planted and harvested the family garden, cooked their elaborate meals, and afforded Armstrong the opportunity to travel extensively…

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