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Penguin Book of Irish Fiction Hardcover – February 28, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1200 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Press; First Edition edition (February 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670891088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670891085
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #775,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

From Library Journal

This anthology spans the entire tradition of Irish fiction written in English, from Jonathan Swift (1657-1745) through Emma Donoghue (b. 1968). The selections, drawn from some 90 authors, include excerpts from novels as well as short stories. Journalist and author T"ib!n (The Story of the Night) has selected relevant works from virtually all the best-known Irish writers (omitting such favorites as Walter Macken and Maeve Binchy). He maintains that most Irish authors before James Joyce wrote primarily for English audiences, whereas Joyce gave Ireland back to native readers. Fittingly, then, Joyce is represented by his short story masterpiece, "The Dead," as well as excerpts from his three novels. Also well represented is the Gothic tradition, which T"ib!n calls a phenomenon of Protestant Anglo-Irish society, with its decaying manor houses and legacy of guilt over its treatment of the native Catholics. Examples include excerpts from Bram Stoker's Dracula and Joseph Sheridan LeFanu's Uncle Silas. Highly recommended.
-Denise J. Stankovics, Rockville P.L., Vernon, CT
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Colm Toibin is the author of four previous novels, The South, The Heather Blazing, The Story of the Night, and The Blackwater Lightship, which was shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize. He lives in Dublin.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Penguin book of Irish Fiction is a fine way to sample a variety of works by Irish writers, ranging from an excerpt of Gullivers Travels by Swift to James Joyce's The Dead. Some short stories are included in their entirety, but most of the novels are excerpted from the originals, which is fine if you just want to sample various writers or decide where to go from here... While planning a trip to Ireland, I found this book to be a good one volume education in Irish Literature. In fact, with 1086 pages of very small print, I doubt I can finish it in time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent introduction to Irish Literature, to be read through or just sampled. The selections are long enough to help the reader to decide where they'd like to start in a large body of literature. The perfect textbook for Modern Irish Literature 110.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Dugan on October 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really love this book. A wide selection that covers many authors, styles and time periods. It is a great reference book and also very entertaining.
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