Modern Irish Writers: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook

By Alexander G. Gonzalez | Go to book overview

Julia O'Faolain
(1932-)

Ann Owens Weekes


BIOGRAPHY

Julia O'Faolain was born into a family of writers and romantics; her mother, Eileen Gould O'Faolain, wrote children's stories; her father, Sean O'Faolain, was a distinguished writer and editor of the fine literary journal, The Bell. Disillusioned by the protectionist, isolationist Ireland of the 1940s, Sean became a voice of dissent against the pruderies and pretensions of this Ireland, a voice that his daughter would echo. Eileen also shaped her daughter's perspectives by keeping her home until she was eight, audience for her own stories of fairies, pookas, and leprechauns. When she finally went to school, Julia incautiously revealed her knowledge and belief in the fairy world. The mockery of her skeptical peers determined her never to be caught out again, and from this time, she turned a "cold eye" on all the myths of church and state and, we should add, class. Her parents, she says, bequeathed her a fascination with magic and an inability to believe in it; the conjurer's art attracts, but she is alert to the sleight of hand rather than the pleasure of mystery.


MAJOR WORKS AND THEMES

Many of the stories in O'Faolain's first collection, We Might See Sights! ( 1968), were reprinted in Melancholy Baby ( 1978). The stories range through several levels and age groups in Irish society and introduce a distinctive narratorial voice with an acute delight in penetrating pretention and an ability to paint a vivid picture with a few, apt, original, and witty words. The title story is a haunting tale about the irrational nature of desire and the link between sexuality and violence. It is an accomplished, brief story whose theme O'Faolain

-332-

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Modern Irish Writers: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • A Note on Using This Book xvii
  • Introduction xix
  • AE (George William Russell) - (1867-1935) 3
  • Samuel Beckett - (1906-1989) 7
  • Brendan Behan - (1923-1964) 14
  • Eavan Boland - (1944-) 21
  • Elizabeth Bowen - (1899-1973) 29
  • Paul Vincent Carroll - (1900-1968) 35
  • Ciaran Carson - (1948-) 40
  • Austin Clarke - (1896-1974) 44
  • Mary M. Colum - (1884-1957) 49
  • Padraic Colum - (1881-1972) 53
  • Daniel Corkery - (1878-1964) 58
  • Denis Devlin - (1908-1959) 64
  • Paul Durcan - (1944-) 69
  • Desmond Egan - (1936-) 73
  • John Eglinton - (1868-1961) 77
  • Darrell Figgis - (1882-1925) 81
  • Brian Friel - (1929-) 85
  • Oliver St. John Gogarty - (1878-1957) 91
  • Lady Augusta Gregory - (1852-1932) 96
  • Seamus Heaney - (1939-) 102
  • F. R. Higgins - (1896-1941) 111
  • Rita Ann Higgins - (1956-) 115
  • Denis Johnston - (1901-1984) 119
  • Jennifer Johnston - (1930-) 124
  • James Joyce - (1882-1941) 129
  • Patrick Kavanagh - (1904-1967) 138
  • John B. Keane - (1928-) 144
  • Molly Keane - (1904-) 149
  • Benedict Kiely - (1919--) 153
  • Thomas Kinsella - (1928--) 157
  • Mary Lavin - (1912-1996) 162
  • Michael Longley - (1939-) 167
  • John McGahern - (1934-) 172
  • Medbh McGuckian - (1950-) 182
  • Michael McLaverty - (1907-1992) 188
  • Bryan MacMahon - (1909-) 193
  • Brinsley MacNamara - (1890-1963) 197
  • Louis MacNeice - (1907-1963) 204
  • Derek Mahon - (1941-) 209
  • Edward Martyn - (1859-1923) 215
  • Paula Meehan - (1955-) 219
  • Máire Mhac an tSaoi - (1922-) 223
  • Susan L. Mitchell - (1866-1926) 227
  • John Montague - (1929-) 232
  • Brian Moore - (1921-) 238
  • George Moore - (1852-1933) 244
  • Paul Muldoon - (1951-) 252
  • Richard Murphy - (1927-) 258
  • Thomas Murphy - (1935-) 263
  • T. C. Murray - (1873-1959) 269
  • Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin (1942-) 274
  • Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill - (1952-) 278
  • Edna O'Brien - (1930-) 283
  • Flann O'Brien - (1911-1966) 289
  • Kate O'Brien - (1897-1974) 296
  • Sean O'Casey - (1880-1964) 300
  • Pádraig Ó Conaire - (1883-1928) 309
  • Frank O'Connor (Michael O'Donovan) - (1903-1966) 313
  • Tomás Ó Crohan - (1856-1937) 322
  • Peadar O'Donnell - (1893-1986) 326
  • Julia O'Faolain - (1932-) 332
  • Sean O'Faolain - (1900-1991) 336
  • Liam O'Flaherty - (1896-1984) 344
  • Seumas O'Kelly - ([C. 1875-1878]-1918) 349
  • James Plunkett - (1920-) 354
  • Lennox Robinson - (1886-1958) 359
  • W. R. Rodgers - (1909-1969) 363
  • Peig Sayers - (1873-1958) 368
  • James Simmons - (1933-) 372
  • Somerville and Ross (E.OE. Somerville, 1858-1949, and Violet Martin, 1862-1915) 376
  • James Stephens - (1882-1950) 382
  • Eithne Strong - (1923-) 390
  • Francis Stuart - (1902-) 394
  • J. M. Synge - (1871-1909) 398
  • William Trevor - (1928-) 406
  • Katharine Tynan - (C. 1858-1931) 413
  • William Butler Yeats - (1865-1939) 419
  • Bibliographies 429
  • Index 437
  • About the Editor and Contributors 451
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