From Criticism

Writing ‘Goosey’ / Cath Barton

‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there’ is the oft-quoted opening line of L P Hartley’s novel The Go-Between. Before checking the quote I wrote it as ‘The past is another country’ and then found that I am far from being the first to make that mistake. Our memories are unreliable and apt to deceive us; indeed, they are remade every time we call them to mind, so multiplying the possibilities of distortion. In ‘Goosey’ I explore ways in which the past can hold us hostage and the means by which we can escape its tyranny. As befits the form of the short story, the dramas faced by my central character, Rodney, are small in scale, but none the less real or challenging: his mother has died and he has to sort through her affairs, including photographs of his life in the theatre, which evoke for him other loves and losses. ‘Goosey’ is the story of how he copes and finds ways to carry

Writing ‘Badlands’ / Fergus Cronin

Fergus Cronin discusses his short story ‘Badlands’, featured in Issue Twelve of The Lonely Crowd.    It’s a dangerous time. Truth is shy. Hate slakes fear. Fixes are scarce. But poetry and fiction can do their thing: use their own ‘lies’ thoughtfully; untwist some of the awfulness; reclaim the meaning of words; mean to be…

Books of the Year 2020: Part Four

Contributors old and new to The Lonely Crowd choose the books that they have most enjoyed reading in 2020. Given the nature of the year, not all of these titles were published in 2020. David Hayden Here are some of the books I read, and reread, this year, which made a difference to me. African…

Books of the Year 2020: Part Three

Contributors old and new to The Lonely Crowd choose the books that they have most enjoyed reading in 2020. Given the nature of the year, not all of these titles were published in 2020. Hisham Bustani Inua Ellams, The Actual It is surprising how much writing in general, and poetry in particular, have succumbed to…

Books of the Year 2020: Part Two

Contributors old and new to The Lonely Crowd choose the books that they have most enjoyed reading in 2020. Given the nature of the year, not all of these titles were published in 2020. Marc Hamer One of the books I have read this years that has stayed with me is Teaching a Stone to…

Books of the Year 2020: Part One

Contributors old and new to The Lonely Crowd choose the books that they have most enjoyed reading in 2020. Given the nature of the year, not all of these titles were published in 2020. Mary Morrissy History dominated my reading this year, perhaps because the present was so insupportable. Plague crept in, regardless, particularly in…

The Writing of ‘Tin’ / Nuala O’Connor

‘Tin’ is a commissioned story and, therefore, I approached and wrote it differently to the stories that occur to me in a natural way. Firstly, the story had to be designed to be read aloud. BBC Radio Ulster and 14-18 NOW – the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary – asked a…

Feeling Unentitled / Mary Morrissy

Mary Morrissy discusses ‘Repossession’, her new short story in Issue Twelve of The Lonely Crowd.   Getting the right title for a story is important and there’s usually an ‘aha’ moment when you find it, or it finds you. With ‘Repossession’ this moment never came, so as far as I’m concerned, it is still a…

On Three Poems Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal

Supriya Kaur Dhaliwal discusses her three poems featured in Issue Eleven of The Lonely Crowd. While living in Dublin during the year of 2017, I relocated to Antwerp, Belgium for the summer to work on the archives of Samuel Beckett at the University of Antwerp. That summer often felt like wearing the shoes that didn’t quite fit…

Books of the Year 2019 / Part Four

Contributors to The Lonely Crowd pick the best books that they have read this year. Jaki McCarrick My reading in 2019 was disparate and strange. At night I mostly read fiction, some novels I had already read or missed classics or works published a few years previously. During the day, I read books I’d been asked to review, much…

Books of the Year 2019 / Part Three

Contributors to The Lonely Crowd pick the best books that they have read this year. Lisa Harding When I was gifted the much-hyped bestseller Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, I was sceptical. The grandiose claims that this a ‘once-in-a generation book’, that it is a ‘masterpiece’,’ astonishing’, ‘compelling’, an ‘instant classic’ made me weary and wary, and yes, prone…

Books of the Year 2019 / Part Two

Contributors to The Lonely Crowd pick the best books that they have read this year. Jo Mazelis Around January of this year I began writing and researching a novel set in London in the 1970s. My research was varied, covering everything from music, history, politics and subculture. One of the key books, A Hero For High Times by Ian…

Books of the Year 2019 / Part One

Contributors to The Lonely Crowd pick the best books that they have read this year.  Mary Morrissy Maybe because I’m far advanced into the writing of a novel, I’ve found myself reading a lot of non-fiction this year, and reluctant memoirists, in particular, it would seem. As a result, all of these writers seem to write slant about personal…