Irish Times: portrait of the author as a reader

Sneaking in before the end of the year, there's a review of The Art of Reading in this weekend's Irish Times. Reviewer Andrew Gallix from 3AM magazine rightly notes some gaps in my work, then turns to the book's premise. A generous, observant analysis. In the expository chapter Young navigates his way round the labyrinthine shelves of his own Library of Babel, travelling back and forth in time, both personal and historical. His early passion for Sherlock Holmes was shared by William Gibson, whose evocation leads – “[T]wo shelves under” him – to Orhan Pamuk’s reflections on childhood perusal and then on to Edith Wharton’s – “[T]wo rooms behind and one century before him” – and from thence to

My 2017

For much of 2017 I was writing. Even more than usual. Which is another way of saying: I was less visible. Family life juggled away, politics fumed and spat, and I arranged and rearranged glyphs. Still, a few nice writerly things happened. Here are some of them. The UK edition of The Art of Reading was released: in a special signed edition for Independent Bookshop Week, then generally a few months later. It's sexy and has a ribbon bookmark. And here's The Art of Reading, under the arm of the French President, Emmanuel Macron. My Brother is a Beast was released: my fourth children's book. GREEN COVER. AGAIN. My Sister is a Superhero won the ABIA children's book of the year, for small publisher

No, I will not get off screens into the "real world"

I've a piece on the Meanjin magazine website, 'On Getting Off Screens'. Basically, I'm weary of (perhaps well-meaning) advice to turn from screens to some magical "real world". As the author of Distraction, you'd think I'd be dead against digital devices. That's certainly how I've been invited to be, on radio and television: the voice of curmudgeonly Ludditism. And I do have legitimate concerns. But distraction is about value, not technology. Framing this as screens versus the "real world" is dodgy philosophically and psychologically. Screens offer bucketloads of value--in the right milieu, used in the right way. To those condescending naysayers: mind your own minds.

© 2017 - Damon Young -