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The Anchor book of new Irish writing : the new Gaelach ficsean /
edited and with an introduction by John Somer and John J. Daly.
1st Anchor Books ed.
New York : Anchor Books, 2000.
xvii, 366 p. ; 21 cm.
0385498896 (trade pbk.)
More Details
New York : Anchor Books, 2000.
0385498896 (trade pbk.)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2000-03-01:
Pyrotechnic yet nourishing, playful yet earnest, and Irish yet universal is how the editors describe the contemporary Irish short story, a genre particularly cherished in this land of storytellers. Both students of Irish literature, Somer (English, Emporia State Univ.) and Daly (Open Univ., Great Britain) maintain that the majority of current writers are following James Joyce's example of examining Ireland's conscience and using a variety of styles; the selections here represent realism, postmodernism, and surrealism. The 23 writers collected are for the most part better known in Ireland than in America, and, except for Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973), all were born after 1939 and came of age during a period of rapid change in Ireland. Bowen, representing an older literary order, is included because she foreshadows current Irish short stories that illustrate the "new forms for thinking and feeling" that she called for. Other authors included are John Banville, Maeve Binchy, Emma Donoghue, Neil Jordan, and Bernard MacLaverty. Recommended for public and academic libraries.--Denise J. Stankovics, Rockville P.L., Vernon, CT Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2000-02-28:
Eschewing the usual norm for anthologies, which generally go for a canonical summation of a literature or a genre, Somer, a professor in Kansas, and Ireland-based editor Daly freeze-frame the changing literary scene in Ireland in this collection of 23 stories and a novella. Somer and Daly have also loosely but cleverly structured this volume to reflect the different directions being taken by Irish writers young and old. Boldly, they begin with "Summer Night" by Elizabeth Bowen, who died in 1973, a finely polished tale about marital troubles and familial deceit in which Bowen asks for "new forms of thinking and feeling." It is an ideal way to start a book that displays the efforts of later Irish writers to find these new forms. The endeavors range from the early stirring magicalism of John Banville, through the closely observed domesticities of Maeve Binchy, to sundry unsuccessful efforts by the likes of lesser-knowns (Evelyn Conlon, Emma Donahue) in a section titled "Telling" (although Patrick McCable's "The Hands of Dingo Deery" succeeds mightily). Another section, "Persona," introduces some forms of which Bowen might have approved--Eamonn Sweeney's circular tale, "Lord McDonald," and �ilis Ni Dhuibhne's Carveresque "The Garden of Eden." Colum McCann stakes out his own section named after his famous story, "Fishing the Sloe-Black River," in which his gift for deep imagery is in full force. "Cathal's Lake" tells of a man who keeps count of the lives lost to the sectarian struggles by diligently unearthing swans inexplicably entombed in the sand around his lake and setting the bird free to emblematic life upon the lake's surface at news of each death. The last entry is writer/filmmaker Neil Jordan's novella "The Dream of a Beast," which impressionistically renders subliminal images denuded of any rational or realistic context. Like Joyce's Ulysses, which 80 years ago offered myriad stylistic directions in which a literature might travel, this collection maps where many of the travelers are at this very moment. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, February 2000
Booklist, March 2000
Kirkus Reviews, March 2000
Library Journal, March 2000
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Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: "Cathal's 'Peculiar Curse': Politics and the Contemporary Writer"p. xiii
Summer Night
"Summer Night"p. 3
"Nightwind"p. 35
"The Bombs"p. 44
"Between Two Shores"p. 56
"Near the Bone"p. 68
"The Little Madonna"p. 74
"En Famille"p. 82
"Shepherd's Bush"p. 92
"Naming the Names"p. 108
"Telling"p. 131
"Seven Pictures Not Taken"p. 135
"The Strangest Feeling in Bernard's Bathroom"p. 140
"The Story of the German Parachutist Who Landed Forty-Two Years Late"p. 152
"What Are Cicadas?"p. 168
"Men and Angels"p. 175
"The Hands of Dingo Deery"p. 183
"Telescope"p. 200
"Persona"p. 211
"The Making of a Bureaucrat"p. 220
"Lord McDonald"p. 227
"A Sense of Humour"p. 235
"The Garden of Eden"p. 253
"The Long Way Home"p. 260
The Sloe-Black River
"Fishing the Sloe-Black River"p. 279
"Cathal's Lake"p. 282
The Dream of a Beast
"The Dream of a Beast"p. 293
Books for Further Readingp. 355
Contributorsp. 357
Permissions Acknowledgmentsp. 365
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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