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I’ll be in London soon.  I held back from going earlier.  After  months of travel, I found I was pretty much enjoying my contented bliss in Dublin. Even the usual book events and launches in the grand dame of a city,  from Cavendish Street  or the Nehru Centre to the Southbank, couldn’t lure me this time round.  My lazy excuse and a realistic one of course, is that I travel freely and can easily catch a literary event I missed in one city in another country somewhere else  and on another month, if the heart so desires.

Ireland is a homey existence to say the least and I’ve been regaling in my walkabouts and especially the bulk of contemporary new literature out in the stores, For the first time, this appears to beat the massive supply of older summer paperbacks.  There’s also a lot of street theatre on in the way of stylish musicians and live bands at cafe squares and such.  This year, there’s far more celebration intent on heightening up a party mood.  The talented groups, some with electric guitars and drums, are too sophisticated to be termed as buskers. So if you fancy soaking up a jazzy rendition of Brubeck’s Take Five in the middle of a blustery afternoon, somewhere along the colourful and charming Wicklow Street what with its army of sidewalk cafes, curio shops and record stores together with a nice slice of Chanel and Louis Vuitton;  then Dublin is certainly the place to be. Picked up The Blue Hour: A Portrait of Jean Rhys by LiLian Pizzichini at Hodges & Figgis, Dublin’s oldest bookshop.  A stylish hardback to celebrate one of my favourite novelists and a sure elegant pose for the store’s  eye-catching  display.  Despite me having picked up a copy, another of Rhys’s ghostly smiles, promises to  gaze on longingly at the hurried heavy footfall.

By the way, I should have Farah Damji’s interview up soon.

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