Modern Irish Writers: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook

Modern Irish Writers: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook

Modern Irish Writers: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook

Modern Irish Writers: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook

Synopsis

This reference provides alphabetically arranged entries for more than 70 modern Irish writers. Each entry includes a brief biography, a discussion of the author's major works and themes, an overview of the writer's critical reception, and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. An opening essay surveys the critical response to Irish literature after 1885, and an extensive bibliography concludes the volume.

Excerpt

This book is intended to serve as a reference work for scholars studying modern Irish authors, whether those scholars be entirely new to the field or experienced researchers simply moving on to study the work of authors new to them. Arranged alphabetically, the entries are written by contributors who are experts on their authors and who are fully up to date on the latest research available relevant to their entries. Each entry contains a brief biography, a concise, detailed discussion of the author's major works and themes, a review of the author's critical reception, and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. Appended to the book is a main bibliography that lists the most significant secondary sources in the field, from broad literary histories to books and articles specifically written on fiction, drama, and poetry.

I still remember well my own initial foray into research in Irish studies. An enthusiastic graduate student at the University of Oregon, I had to prepare for a comprehensive examination in Irish literature armed only with a list of authors with whose work I was required to make myself intimately familiar. I had reasonable knowledge of Yeats and Joyce, the latter of whom I had determined would be the eventual subject of my doctoral dissertation. I had, in fact, elected to take this particular examination as what I saw as a sensible way of gaining background knowledge on Joyce. Little did I realize that Irish studies would soon become the passion of my intellectual life, replacing Joyce as my specific focus.

Playing overwhelmingly the most significant role in the development of this passion was the then-recent appearance of Richard Fallis literary history, The Irish Renaissance. At last I had a road map, so to speak, lending coherence to an alphabetical list of authors, most of whose names--Patrick Kavanagh, Seumas O'Kelly, Paul Vincent Carroll, for example--I had never seen before. In . . .

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