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Capital Punishment for Being Ireland

Colm Herron is an exceptional writer who deserves more widespread recognition, and ‘Anna’ is his finest work to date. It deals (as do his other books) with the special relationship Northern Ireland has with bigotry, and Herron has a rare ability to get right to the heart of the matter. I found myself thinking throughout: “What a piece of work is a man” – immensely talented and yet deeply flawed; funny, sad, noble and pathetic, all at the same time. This is a story about abuse. It’s told by Robert, “twenty-eight, respectable teacher, virgin till two weeks ago”, whose mind...

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