‘I have met myself, I told a friend in a rueful, abrasive WhatsApp voice note in the days after the baby was born; I have met myself and I am not the kind of person I thought I was.’

Niamh Campbell: ‘Why didn't I know this already?’

95
number ninety-five | Summer 2024

In the summer issue of the Dublin Review, Niamh Campbell writes about early motherhood, and in particular the challenge of feeding her baby while trying to deal with exhaustion, confusion, and mixed messages from professionals and the wider culture. ‘Why didn’t I know this already?’ is one of the great parenting essays – vivid, honest, and coruscatingly intelligent.

Also in the summer issue, Piers Gelly tells the story of what happened after he and his wife decided to acquire a few chickens. ‘Brooding’ is at once a brilliantly gripping account of a minor adventure in animal husbandry and a sparkling meditation on emotional risk. ‘I knew that I would love the chickens, and was terrified of what that love would require,’ Gelly writes. ‘It had been the same story with the dog. For that matter, it had been the same story with my wife herself …’

Emily Grabham’s ‘Lump!’ is a gripping diary of a medical crisis and the emotional weather it created. In his essay ‘Cover Tactics’, Nathan O’Donnell writes about the peculiar methods he adopted for coping with the implications of being different as a primary and secondary school student in Ireland in the 1990s.  Nick Holdstocks essay ‘Rocks and Sand’ recounts a trip to the eerie deserts of eastern Morocco, where he tried to achieve a sense of true aloneness while never losing mobile-phone coverage. And the summer Dublin Review also includes superb short stories by Georgina Parfitt and Alexandra Reza.

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