Synopses & Reviews
"Ireland! Ireland! Ireland! The word falls on the ear with the gentle persistence of rain on the shores of Kerry," said Honor Tracy. "The Irishman," said Robert Lynd, "is one of the world's greatest puzzles." Just what is the true essence of Ireland? And who, exactly, are the "We Irish," as described by W.B. Yeats?
The Oxford Book of Ireland is a unique anthology of writing that attempts to finally strike at the heart of this compelling country and its people, through the words of the Irish themselves. Included here are the poems, essays, and excerpts from the fiction of writers such as Samuel Beckett, Elizabeth Bowen, Seamus Heaney, James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh, Louis MacNeice, Frank O'Connor, Honor Tracy, William Trevor, and W.B. Yeats. Arranged according to theme, the emphasis of this volume falls on geography, social history, custom, and personal observation. These great figures lament over the loss of the Gaelic language, ponder the splendor of endless Irish skies, contemplate the frenetic urbanity of Dublin, and revel in the invigorating wit and charm of their people.
From the beauty of Celtic twilights to the drive towards insurgency, from the alcoholic animation to the passion of the Catholic region no country has fostered as much analysis and self-scrutiny as Ireland. Riveting, illuminating, and even exasperating, The Oxford Book of Ireland is a stimulating collection of the greatest Irish writers reflecting upon their mysterious and beloved homeland. Anyone bewitched by the land of Eire will delight in this spirited anthology.
Irish history lives more in the present than that of other countries, and there are constant reminders in these pages of past triumphs and tragedies, and their continuing impact on the national psyche. Conquest, famine, emigration, the decline of the language, the struggle for identity and independence are all charted here with a raw and passionate immediacy. Interwoven with episodes of national turbulence are lyrical sections on the Irish landscape and countryside, on the cities and the suburbs, the climate and the folk culture: high jinks and convivially alongside reminiscence and disputation.
About the Author
A freelance writer and reviewer, Patricia Craig has edited The Oxford Books of English Detective Stories, Schooldays, Modern Women's Stories
, and Travel Stories
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