The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction

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9780140298499: The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction

This volume presents the entire canon of Irish fiction in English, from Jonathan Swift (born 1667) to Emma Donoghue (born 1969). Selections from 100 renowned writers, including Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, and others, are presented along with background information.

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Review:

Compiling a history of Irish fiction from Jonathan Swift to Emma Donoghue is a tricky, if not controversial task, but Colm Toibin has succeeded with great skill in his collection of The Penguin Book of Irish Fiction. All the obvious names are here--Laurence Sterne, Maria Edgworth, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett and Roddy Doyle--as well as less recognisable writers, including Emily Lawless, Val Mulkerns, Colum McCann and Donoghue, "whose dramatisations of sexual politics have", according to Toibin, "set a new tone in Irish fiction".

There are omissions and odd choices, as in any selection of this scope, but Toibin's introduction cleverly justifies his selection, as well as taking the reader through the peculiar history of Irish writing. "The purpose of much Irish fiction, it seems," he suggests, "is to become involved in the Irish argument" over politics and nationalism. While skilfully moving through the highly charged writing of Goldsmith, Moore, Flann O'Brien and Friel, Toibin also notes a waning of radicalism in current Irish writing and asks, "now that the violence is fading and the society moves slowly towards Anglo-Irish Agreement and European Union, will we see a waning of the national themes in Irish writing?" The answer is probably yes, but the richness and diversity of Toibin's collection suggest that Irish writing is alive and well, whatever its future direction. --Jerry Brotton

Review:

'Over 1000 pages of the best writing that this island has produced' - Irish Independent

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2001. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The definitive guide to three centuries of fiction by Ireland's greatest authorsThis extraordinary volume presents the entire canon of Irish fiction in English from Jonathan Swift, born in 1667, to Emma Donoghue, born in 1969. In between are selections from almost 100 renowned writers including Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Iris Murdoch, William Trevor, and Roddy Doyle. Colm Tibn--one of Ireland's most accomplished writers--has carefully chosen the selections and gives fascinating background information in a provocative introduction. His commentary combines with the inspired selections from Ireland's greatest writers to provide an authoritative and enlightening exploration of Irish fiction. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0140298495

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