These short stories invite the reader to see Ireland afresh. Included are works by well-known authors such as Mary Lavin, Edna O’Brien, and Julia O’Faolain; the collection also showcases new writers such as Clare Boylan, Rita Kelly, and Una Woods.
Repeatedly, the stories bring us up against the inherent contradiction of provincial Ireland and Ireland as a modern European state, and the complexities of women’s lives in both. Helen Lucy
Burke writes tellingly of an older, devout Irish Catholic woman as she encounters the startling realities of Italian Catholic Rome. Other stories also dwell on traditional Irish themes and situations through refreshingly varied voices.
Ita Daly movingly portrays the problems of an educated, sensitive schoolteacher, resigned to her life in a country town. Anne Devlin handles yet another familiar theme: the Irelander in England, an England edgy about IRA bombings. A few stories deal with the “troubles” in Northern Ireland, while others address the troubles of the country as a whole: too many children, too much hypocrisy, too little communication, especially between women and men.
The editors have provided an introduction that examines the role of women writers in Irish literature. T-hey have also supplied detailed biographical notes for each contributing author.
Daniel J. Casey is Vice President of Academic Affairs and Academic Dean, College of Our Lady of the Elms, and coeditor of Modern Irish American Fiction: A Reader (Syracuse University Press, 1989).
Linda M. Casey has studied and taught English as a second language in Finland, Ireland, and Italy.
6 x 9, 232 pages