A sneak preview of Saturday’s books pages

Buy The Wife Between Us for €4.99 with The Irish Times in Eason this weekend

In this Saturday’s Irish Times books pages, RTÉ culture editor Derek O’Connor writes in a powerful and moving essay, My Personal Apocalypse, about losing his wife Maeve to cancer in 2016, at the age of 44, leaving three young children behind.

Paul McVeigh interviews fellow Ardoyne author Anna Burns about winning the Man Booker Prize for Milkman, the streets where they grew up and the chronic pain which is stopping her writing. And Jennifer O'Connell scouts out the best independent bookshops in every Irish county.

Declan Burke and Declan Hughes reveal their favourite thrillers of 2018; John McAuliffe and Caitriona O’Reilly select their favourite new poetry collections; and Sarah Gilmartin discusses her favourite first and second novels of the year.

Our reviews include a double-header by Fintan O’Toole on Thomas Kilroy’s memoir Over the Backyard Wall and a study of his plays, The Theatre of Thomas Kilroy by Jose Lanters; Clifford Coonan on The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World by Peter Frankopan; Des Kenny on The History of Irish Publishing by Tony Farmar; Declan O’Driscoll on At Dusk by Hwang Sok-Yong and Sora Kim-Russell; Liam Cagney on Chamber Music: About the Wu-Tang by Will Ashon; Riona Judge McCormack on Quondam by John Devoy; John O’Brien on The Stars are our Only Warmth by Alice Leahy; Julie Parsons on The White Album by Joan Didion; and Caitriona O’Reilly on new poetry by Kathleen Jamie, Ciaran Berry and Michelle O’Sullivan.


And, if you buy The Irish Times in any branch of Eason this weekend, you can save €5 and buy The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen for just €4.99.