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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Favorite Irish-Themed Books

There is a lyrical strain in the Irish literary tradition that is really unmatched. I'm reading Angela's Ashes right now and marveling. Here are some of my favorite reads that give you a sense of that tradition and of the country and its people.

Circle of Friends-Maeve Binchy--a young woman from a small town experiences changing sexual codes when she goes to Dublin for school.

Dubliners-James Joyce--dreams deferred in Joyce's beloved city.

My Dream of You-Nuala O'Faolain--Sexy modern love story interspersed with story of the Great Famine. Unforgettable. Will stalk your dreams.

The Butcher Boy-Patrick McCabe-- mentally disturbed serial killer narrates his own downfall

The Complete Poems of W.B. Yeats--just the best. period.

The Last September-Elizabeth Bowen--protestant gentry's family in a "great house" just before the IRA and the civil war forces them out.

Angela's Ashes-Frank McCourt--childhood in Limerick, poverty, pathos and humor.

Ireland: Selected Stories--William Trevor-- The New Yorker's favorite short fiction writer's collection of stories about his homeland.

3 comments:

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  2. If you like Butcher Boy I'd suggest trying Breakfast on Pluto, it's a bit more upbeat. I want to try Roddy Doyle. Hear his Van trilogy is very entertaining. I also liked Circle of Friends but I haven't read any other Binchy books, they strike as being a bit too lite and twee.

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  3. You know, Breakfast on Pluto has been on my list for a long time. Going to move it up the queue.

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