Journey information which touches on Churchill’s Irish angle

Churchill’s Great Britain: From the Antrim Coast to the Isle of Wight

Peter Clark
House Publishing, £ 20
A travel guide that touches on Churchill’s relationship with Ireland. As a child he vacationed in the Viceroyal Lodge in Phoenix Park, his grandfather was a first lieutenant. His grandmother, from a leading Orange Protestant family, left him property (a nice little earner) in Co Antrim. During a visit, it is reported, he met the local postmaster. “I came to visit the village my great-grandmother founded,” he said. Churchill, she replied, Carnlough existed long before her. As a Liberal MP for Dundee, he was enthusiastically cheered on the Falls Road in 1912 when he supported Home Rule, later campaigning for the union cause and division and threatening Collins after the assassination of Henry Wilson that he would march back if he did if not, do not confront the IRA and start civil war. – Danny Morrison

The Oulipo penguin book

Edited by Philip Terry
Penguin Modern Classics, £ 12.99
Members of Oulipo, the playful and experimental French literary group founded in 1960, are dedicated to the application of formal restrictions in the composition of literary texts. (The name is an abbreviation for Ouvroir de littérature potentialielle – the workshop of potential literature.) Perhaps the most famous of the group’s restricted works is Georges Perec’s 1969 lipogrammatic novel La disparition, composed without the use of the letter e and translated from brilliant into English Gilbert Adair as Void. This fascinating collection of Oulipian texts draws not only on forerunners (“predictive plagiarists” to use the Oulipian preferred term) such as Jonathan Swift and Raymond Roussel, but also chooses the writing of early members Perec, Italo Calvino and the group’s co-founder, Raymond, from Queneau contains pieces inspired by Oulipian experiments and updates the latest work by current members such as Michèle Métail and Anne Garréta. Editor Philip Terry contains an index of limitations (“palindrome”, “irrational sonnet “) With useful definitions for understandably confused people. An essential introduction to the ridiculous, rules-bound world of a remarkable literary association. – Karl Whitney

Time out

Emma Murray
Boldwood books
In her debut novel, Murray tries to give real insight into the challenges of first-time motherhood (but please don’t use that sanitized word!). Saoirse, an Irish writer and mother of one, is fed up with her clueless, pedantic husband, the social media mummies, who tell her what to feed her child (local, organic) and how to dress her child (homemade, organic). Not to mention the old biddies at the bus stop telling her, “These are the best days” of her life – as if! Time Out gives an insight into the pressures and isolation of modern motherhood without neglecting humor and warmth. Sometimes tropes are played down, and the author’s casual approach to language may appeal to some more than others. Still, this is undoubtedly a topic that will appeal to many readers. – Brigid O’Dea

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