From James Joyce to Tara French, we have been blessed with incredible writers from Ireland. And as it is Saint Patrick’s Day, which is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17, it seems only fitting to celebrate these wordsmiths:
📚 Time Pieces by John Banville
From the internationally acclaimed and Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea and the Benjamin Black mysteries comes a vividly evocative memoir that unfolds around the author’s recollections, experience, and imaginings of Dublin.
📚 Dubliners by James Joyce
James Joyce’s Dubliners is a vivid and unflinching portrait of “dear dirty Dublin” at the turn of the twentieth century. These fifteen stories, including such unforgettable ones as “Araby,” “Grace,” and “The Dead,” delve into the heart of the city of Joyce’s birth, capturing the cadences of Dubliners’ speech and portraying with an almost brute realism their outer and inner lives.
📚 Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
This is a 1996 memoir by the Irish-American author Frank McCourt, with various anecdotes and stories of his childhood. It details his very early childhood in Brooklyn, New York, US but focuses primarily on his life in Limerick, Ireland. It is gritty and at times very harrowing to read his harsh life of poverty and strife.
📚 Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
In this meticulously reported book—as finely paced as a novel—Keefe uses mother of 10 Jean McConville’s murder as a prism to tell the history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Interviewing people on both sides of the conflict, he transforms the tragic damage and waste of the era into a searing, utterly gripping saga.
📚 Republic of Shame: Stories from Ireland’s Institutions for ‘Fallen Women’ by Caelainn Hogan
Until alarmingly recently, the Catholic Church, acting in concert with the Irish state, operated a network of institutions for the concealment, punishment and exploitation of ‘fallen women’. In the Magdalene laundries, girls and women were incarcerated and condemned to servitude. And in the mother-and-baby homes, women who had become pregnant out of wedlock were hidden from view, and in most cases their babies were adopted – sometimes illegally.
📚 To School Through the Fields by Alice Taylor
In one of the best-selling Irish memoirs of all time written in 1988, Taylor fondly remembers growing up in a rural Irish town.
Have you read any great Irish writers?