The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction

ISBN 13: 9780140236507

The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction

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9780140236507: The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction

This unique anthology illustrates the full range of Irish fiction from Gulliver's Travels to young contemporary writers like Roddy Doyle and Emma Donoghue. Including self-contained sections from novels as well as short stories, all the most important writers are represented, from Swift and Sterne through Joyce, Beckett and Wilde to modern masters like Banville and William Trevor. Colm Toibin's long introduction describes the contexts and particular strengths of Irish fiction.

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About the Author:

Colm Toibin is the author of four novels: THE SOUTH, THE HEATHER BLAZING and THE STORY OF THE NIGHT and THE BLACKWATER LIGHTSHIP. He also works as a journalist and critic, and writes regularly for the London Review of Books. He lives in Dublin.

From Publishers Weekly:

It's hard to keep up with Irish literature, and it's difficult to take stock of; the backlist, as it were, shifts constantly, being a cultural tradition subject to the winds of politics and whatever a nation's self-image is at the moment. The continuing productivity of the Irish--and their diaspora--also contributes to the changing face of the overall accomplishment. So it is never redundant to refashion Irish literature--in this case, Irish fiction--and T?ib!n is an excellent choice, being an expert novelist (The Heather Blazing), a superb travel writer and historian (Homage to Barcelona) and young enough to be hip to the newest writers. His take on the Irish tradition is complex and bracing: it is, he says, "strangeness" itself. An awareness of the proximity of England and France makes the Irish writer aware of what is missing; and the three subjects that dominate Irish fiction are fire, men killing women, and fathers and sons. In his invaluable introduction, T?ib!n provides readers with a handy survey of writing in Ireland from the time of Swift till the latest by Colum McCann. In between, he includes selections from the standard-bearers (what to chose from Ulysses? The demotic Irish speechifying of "Cyclops"), from the lesser known and the unknown: John Broderick, from his beautiful The Trials of Father Dillingham; the funny Benedict Kiely. This is an exhaustive volume, and one with much variety. And its very last lines are apt, drawn from "Going Back," by Emma Donahue (b. 1969): "They wandered down the street past the restaurant, past the pub, coming to no conclusion. Like tails of a cloud, their voices winding around and in and out." Readers who wander into this long, big book will find conclusions perhaps hard to come by, but the Irish air is unmistakable. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by Penguin Books Ltd (2001)
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