‘Out cycling early in the morning, up round Primrose Hill. As clear as anything … I hear a voice as I am pedalling past London Zoo. You’re Not Special. Your Ideas Are Not Special. And No One Gives a Shit.’

Ian Sansom: ‘Dividing My Time’: A diary for 2021

number eighty-six | Spring 2022

In the spring issue of the Dublin Review, Ian Sansom’s most darkly comic diary yet chronicles a year that began in his parents’ garage and ended with a bunch of guys on the streets of London wishing him a ‘happy fucking Christmas’. In between, a year divided between aggressive city and muddy country was marked by worry over mice behind the skirting boards, noises from an apartment upstairs, and his mother’s poor health; and dotted with moments of comic observation and insight that by now have surely earned their own adjective: Sansomian.

In the second of his scarifying sequence of autobiographical essays, Tim MacGabhann writes about leaving Dublin for Barcelona, discovering heroin, and an encounter that led him into the foothills of a new and better life. ‘Escape Velocity’ is another masterpiece of memoir, exploring the weave of past, present and future in the mind of an addict.

Also in the new Dublin Review, three dazzling short stories: Jane Lavelle’s ‘The Auditorium’, in which the three protagonists are a young man, a young woman, and the dark corners of Dublin’s main bus terminal; Sara Keating’s ‘Metronome’, about a music-lover’s passions and crimes; and Georgina Parfitt’s ‘Symptoms’, which with exceptional vividness traces a mother–daughter holiday in the shadow of illness.

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