This spirited collection of short essays adds further critical and autobiographical material to Derek Mahon’s growing body of prose. It includes reflections on flying boats and on the artist William Scott, an American memoir, considerations of the ‘Pound Era’ and of Cyril Connolly, thoughts about advertising and the nature of contemporary society, and praise of the ‘alternative’ character of County Cork, where the author lives.
The poet Derek Mahon writes delightful prose, and in Red Sails (Gallery) he considers topics ranging from seaplanes, through Ezra Pound and Cyril Connolly, to his own days as an advertising copywriter — he was present at the birth of Pampers. A superb collection.
— John Banville, Books of the Year
A Fierce Eye
. . . Red Sails is a lithe and alert and, at times, sanguine book, celebrating what the poet sees as valuable and worthwhile, though splenetic and damning on the fashionable trends of valueless marketing mantras which he sees around many a corner. This is fiery stuff at times. But there is also a more poignant if ironic tone at play, especially when Mahon’s thoughts on his artistic life pass the viewfinder . . . This is a great little book that ‘springs from prevailing conditions’: Mahon in top form.
— Gerald Dawe, Dublin Review of Books
Year Published: 2014
ISBN PBK: 978 1 85235 614 9
ISBN ebook: 978 1 85235 653 8