From James Joyce to Tara French, we have been blessed with incredible Irish authors and their wonderful books, and we get to celebrate them on St Patrick’s Day. To explain, it is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17, it seems only fitting to celebrate these wordsmiths. To begin with, St. Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on the 17th of March every year in honour of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is a national holiday in Ireland, and it is also widely celebrated in other countries, especially in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Books from Irish authors for St Patrick’s Day
There are many great nonfiction books written by Irish authors that cover a wide range of topics. From history and politics to memoirs and travel writing, here are some of the best nonfiction books by Irish authors:
- 📚 Time Pieces by John Banville. From the internationally acclaimed and Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea comes a vividly evocative memoir. Consequently what unfolds is 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 delve into the heart of the city of Joyce’s birth. While capturing the cadences of Dubliners’ speech, it also portrays 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. Keefe uses mother of 10 Jean McConville’s murder as a prism to talk about the Troubles in Northern Ireland. While interviewing people on both sides of the conflict, he transforms the tragic damage into a searing, utterly gripping saga.
- 📚 Republic of Shame: Stories from Ireland’s Institutions for ‘Fallen Women’ by Caelainn Hogan. Until recently, the Catholic Church and the Irish state, operated a network of institutions for the punishment and exploitation of ‘fallen women’. In the Magdalene laundries, girls and women were incarcerated and condemned to servitude. Not to mention women who had become pregnant out of wedlock were hidden from view. As a result 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, Taylor fondly remembers growing up in a rural Irish town.
Have you read any great Irish writers?
In summary, these are just a few examples of the many great nonfiction books written by Irish authors. Whether you’re interested in history, memoirs, or social commentary, there’s sure to be something to pique your interest. Remember to check out the best nonfiction books of February 2023.