essays

 

WHAT ARE WE STILL DOING IN GUANTANAMO? | Los Angeles Review of Books, May 2017
At the military commissions in Guantanamo

 

OUR OWN GEORGE CLOONEY | the Dublin Review Issue No. 29, Winter 2007-8
With the UN in Somalia

 

TWO VISITS TO KOSOVO | the Dublin Review Issue No. 18, Spring 2005
Dispatch from a province whose prime minister is about to be indicted for war crimes

reviews

Olivia Laing's The Lonely City | the Irish Times
"It has often puzzled me that the frank admission of loneliness is somehow considered more shameful than the ill-advised lengths people go to in the desperate effort to avoid it. The capacity to inhabit loneliness – both its oppressive, gnawing isolation and its occasional, paradoxical richness – and to make something of that experience beyond self pity seems to me a wonderful and brave thing."

Renata Adler's After the Tall Timber | the Irish Times
"It is rare for a writer, or perhaps for anyone, to peak twice in life. Renata Adler, now in her 70s, made it big when she was young and then vanished. And Adler didn’t fade from view because of changing fashion. It wasn’t, as Michael Wolff notes in the preface to her collected nonfiction, money, drugs or Hollywood that threw Adler’s career of course. It was, instead, not being able to keep silent, and the shunning she suffered as a result shows that 'even serious writing is harshly proscribed, that the literary life has its hard rules, that politics must be carefully played, that renegades – and, no doubt, especially women renegades – who go past an undrawn line are cast out'."

Phil Klay and David Finkel: the US military and Iraq | the Irish Times
"Last November I read an op-ed in my current local paper, the Washington Post , headlined, “How the military isolates itself – and hurts veterans”, which lamented the geographical, social and psychological divide between members of the US military and civilians, and suggested how to shrink it."