The Lit Review |12| Hennessy New Irish Writing

Hennessy New Irish Writing Award moves to the Irish Times

New Irish Writing, founded in 1946 by writer David Marcus, has long been a showcase for some of Ireland’s most acclaimed literary talent. Traditionally published in The Irish Independent, it has now found a new home at The Irish Times, where short stories and poetry will appear on the last Saturday of every month. An overall winner in each category will be chosen annually, and the writers presented with the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award. New Irish Writing is open to all writers who are Irish or living in Ireland, and this is how you can enter.


Controversy over Mein Kampf published in English

70 years have passed since the liberation of Auschwitz. To mark the occasion The Irish Times has put together a list of books which reveal the atrocities of Nazi Germany.

The list is made up of books such as The Diary of Anne Frank, which was published by the author’s father after the war, If This is a Man by Primo Levi, which questions morality before, during and after the Holocaust and The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt. Arendt was a political theorist who fled to America after being detained in Camp Gurs. You can find the full book list here.

Along with this, there was some controversy around the translation into English and publication of Adolf Hitler’s manifesto Mein Kampf. This sensitive debate brings up issues around democracy and education and how far freedom of speech should extend when it comes to writings such as this one.



In memory of Primo Levi, author and Auschwitz survivor

Primo Levi
Primo Levi:

Eileen Battersby has written a moving tribute to Primo Levi, who was held prisoner in Auschwitz for 11 months before its liberation. In an interview with Levi before his death in 1987, Battersby wrote of his frailty and how old he appeared at just 66:

‘He seemed like a saint who had walked back from the doors of Hell, which of course he had.’

She quotes the writer himself, too, who had this to say about his experiences as a writer and a member of the Jewish faith:

‘My Jewish identity took on a great importance following my deportation to Auschwitz… it is very likely that without Auschwitz I would never have written, and would have given only a little weight to my Jewish identity.’


Inside the Rainbow

Under the thumb of Stalin, artistic and literary expression was difficult, if not impossible. To defy the strict constraints of censorship, some political writers and artists turned to creating beautiful children’s books, which appeared in huge numbers during the 1920s and 30s. These little-known treasures of children’s literature are explored in a new book, Inside the Rainbow: Russian Children’s Literature 1920-1935.


Happy Birthday Lewis Carroll

It is 151 years since the birth of Lewis Carroll, the creator of Alice in Wonderland. Check out this cutting edge silent movie, an early adaptation of the story for the silver screen.

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A Self-Destructing Book

James Patterson’s latest book comes with a novel feature: it incorporates a clock, which counts down as soon as you start to read it, and which will explode and kill you if you don’t get to the end within the allocated time. Well, this is not technically true, unless you’re the lucky reader with almost $300,000 to spare in order to be flown to an undisclosed location and treated to an actual exploding book (minus the death bit, of course), but Patterson has also released 1,000 e-books which will disappear from the reader’s tablet after the clock runs out. The ingenious marketing idea is being promoted in order to create a sense of momentum and heighten the reader’s emotions as they race through the pages. How annoying would it be if the tablet’s battery ran out half way through and you had no access to a charger? Anyway, find out more here.

Stand Still, Stay Silent

Language Tree
Stand Still Stay Quiet

The writer of the webcomic Stand Still, Stay Silent , Minna Sundberg, has created a language tree which maps the connections between languages. She displays with beautiful imagery how closely related Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, and Icelandic are to each other, and how Finnish and Hungarian, along with several other languages, derive from separate linguistic roots to other European languages.