Credit: Fiona Morgan,

The Lit Review |35| Dublin Theatre Festival

Dublin Theatre Festival

The programme for the 2015 Dublin Theatre Festival is out, and it’s very good. 23 productions will run between the 23rd of September and the 11th of October, representing the great range of theatre that Dublin has on offer and dipping into some other international delights. Showings of Oedipus will take place in the Abbey, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, adapted from the book by Mark Haddon, will have audiences marvelling over the power and beauty of the human mind. THEATREclub are playing The Game, exploring the act of buying sex and the subculture of prostitution while Dancing at Lughnasa will run from the 6th to the 11th of October. A number of family friendly productions will take place also, including Paper Moon, a story about love, magic and imagination (my favourites). See you in the front row.


Further Speculation surrounding Go Set a Watchman

Go Set A Watchman, the new novel by Harper Lee.
Go Set A Watchman, the new novel by Harper Lee.

Way back in Lit Review 13, I wrote about the discovery of an earlier draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, the world-famous novel written by Harper Lee. Entitled Go Set a Watchman, the 55 year old manuscript, initially presumed lost, has finally been released and has sold 1.1 million copies in its first week. Despite great excitement amongst readers, there are still some questions hanging over lawyer Tonja Carter’s role in its discovery. Carter became the writer’s main legal representative after the death of Lee’s sister, Alice, and made the discovery just three months later. Accusations are being made by Lee’s former literary agent, who was dismissed by Harper Lee in 2013 after allegations were brought forward that he had attempted to switch the copyright for To Kill a Mockingbird to a company he controlled. It all seems a bit fishy. Either way, 89 year old Lee has announced her delight over the launch and great success of her second novel.


E.L Doctorow Dies

E.L. Doctorow has passed away at the age of 84. The writer, whose namesake was the poet Edgar Allen Poe, displayed a similar talent for writing from a young age. ‘I was a child who read everything I could get my hands on. Eventually, I asked of a story not only what was to happen next, but how is this done? How am I made to live from words on a page? And so I became a writer.’ The award-winning author of books such as Ragtime and Billy Bathgate spoke about his style of writing saying ‘I like commas. I detest semi-colons – I don’t think they belong in a story. And I gave up quotation marks long ago. I found I didn’t need them, they were fly-specks on the page. If you’re doing it right the reader will know who’s talking.’


Writers’ Block

Neil Gaiman Portrait
Neil Gaiman photo. The Open Book Series

Writers’ block, the term that tastes like bile in every writer’s mouth. This article provides some encouragement to trample on those two evil words. Take a look at some writers who managed to get over theirs. I particularly like the tip of pretending you are a laptop sleeve. Or the tip of writing all the time, on everything, even on top of old writing. That’s the only way to beat a block.



Enid Blyton’s Cottage

Thatch, Sale, Blyton, Enid

Old Thatch, the former home of Enid Blyton, has gone on sale for £1.85 million. This sounds simply spiffing, but I imagine some pressure might come with living in a place filled to the brim with mystery and old stories. You might be expected to produce some kind of magical children’s story. I would take my millions elsewhere if I were you.


Hype is the Problem

This book lover writes about a dwindling love affair with young adult fiction. It appears that many young adult fiction writers are now attempting to conform to popular ideals: ‘There are certain ingredients authors feel they must include if their book is going to be published and become a success.’ Books, arguably, have become more about hype than a good story; people stop looking for books to read and instead pick up what has generated the most traffic on Twitter. These books are following patterns and ticking boxes when they should be helping us to learn more about ourselves and the world. ‘I crave books that nestle words into sentences that I do not understand. I want to go and find my dictionary every now and then: I want to be educated while I read. I want to be so immersed in a storyline that the world around me disappears’.


Magical Tidying

Does every item in your house ‘tokimeku’ (spark joy)? If it doesn’t then you should ditch it. At least according to the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Maria Kondo who insists that cleaning can be a therapeutic experience. She even suggests her readers listen to classical music while cleaning. Throw on some Beethoven there and get out the hoover, hopefully it will ‘tokimeku’.