Synopses & Reviews
is a collection of short stories by James Joyce that was first published in 1914. The fifteen stories were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of the Irish middle-class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the twentieth century.
The stories were written at a time when Irish nationalism was at its peak and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences. They center on Joyce's idea of an epiphany: a moment where a character has a special moment of self-understanding or illumination.
The initial stories in the collection are narrated by children as protagonists, and as the stories continue, they deal with the lives and concerns of progressively older people. This is in line with Joyce's tripartite division of the collection into childhood, adolescence, and maturity.
The stories contained in Dubliners are "The Sisters," "An Encounter," "Araby," "Eveline," "After the Race," "Two Gallants," "The Boarding House," "A Little Cloud," "Counterparts," "Clay," "A Painful Case," "Ivy Day in the Committee Room," "A Mother," "Grace," and "The Dead."
"Cold is the heart that can resist a warm Irish accent like Gerard Doyle's, especially when that voice is offering splendid material like this Joyce classic.…Heartbreaking epiphanies abound, and Doyle artfully walks the vocal line between empathy and cool efficiency with his performance." ---AudioFile
In this collection of masterful stories, steeped in realism, James Joyce creates an exacting portrait of his native city, showing how it reflects the general decline of Irish culture and civilization.
About the Author
James Joyce (1882–1941) was born in Dublin, Ireland. From the age of six, Joyce was educated by Jesuits at Clongowes Wood College, at Clane, and then at Belvedere College in Dublin. Later he thanked the Jesuits for teaching him to think straight, although he rejected their religious instructions. In 1898 he entered the University College, Dublin, where he found his early inspirations from the works of Henrik Ibsen, St. Thomas Aquinas, and W. B. Yeats. Joyce's first publication, an essay on Ibsen's play When We Dead Awaken, appeared in Fortnightly Review in 1900. At this time he began writing lyric poems.After graduation, Joyce spent a year in France, returning when a telegram arrived saying his mother was dying. Not long after her death, Joyce left Dublin with Nora Barnacle, a chambermaid whom he later married, and traveled around Europe, eventually settling in Trieste, Italy. There Joyce wrote most of Dubliners, all of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and large sections of Ulysses. In 1907, Joyce published a collection of poems entitled Chamber Music. In 1909, Joyce opened a cinema in Dublin, but this affair failed and he was soon back in Trieste, broke and working as a teacher, tweed salesman, journalist, and lecturer.In 1916, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, an autobiographical novel, was published. At the outset of the First World War, Joyce moved with his family to Zurich, where he started to develop the early chapters of Ulysses, which was first published in France because of censorship troubles in Great Britain and the United States. In 1923, Joyce moved to Paris and started his second major work, Finnegans Wake, which occupied his time for the next sixteen years-the final version of the book was completed in late 1938. After the fall of France in World War II, Joyce returned to Zurich, where he died on January 13, 1941. Finnegans Wake was the last and most revolutionary work of the author. Gerard Doyle reads everything from adult, young adult, and children's books to literary fiction, mysteries, humor, adventure, and fantasy. He has won countless AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle, and was named a Best Voice in Young Adult Fiction in 2008. His audiobook credits include Clubland by Frank Owen, And Thereby Hangs a Tale by Jeffrey Archer, The Distant Echo by Val McDermid, and A Risk Worth Taking by Robin Pilcher. His career in British repertory theater includes many productions, most notably The Crucible, The Tempest, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Fiddler on the Roof. He has also appeared on television, including New York Undercover and Law and Order.