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Topic: Irish Authors

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Subject: Irish Authors
Date Posted: 7/29/2008 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
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Lately I've been reading Irish authors, with storylines taking place in Ireland as well.   I loved, loved Sebastian Barry's A Long Long Way, written about an Irish lad in WWI.   Very sad but the writing is beautiful.

I also recently finished The Woman Who Walked into Doors and the sequel, Paula Spencer, by Roddy Doyle.   Again - pretty depressing stuff - but Doyle does a great job writing in the female voice.

I also have Anne Enright's The Gathering on my TBR shelf - anyone read that?

Looking to discover more Irish authors as well.

Date Posted: 7/29/2008 11:58 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 8,410
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Definitely Maeve Binchy if you haven't read her before.  You might like Cecelia Ahern (PS I Love You) as well.

Date Posted: 7/29/2008 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2008
Posts: 9,783
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I have a number of Maeve Binchy on my bookshelf. I read her years ago but not recently.

Date Posted: 7/29/2008 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/4/2007
Posts: 4,577
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Billy Hopkins is brilliant.  His books are autobiographical in nature, but absolutely wonderful to read.  They can be a bit difficult to find, but they're worth the effort. 

Date Posted: 7/29/2008 8:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2006
Posts: 7,886
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Maeve Binchy.  Marian Keyes' books take place in Ireland.  I have read every one of her books.  Great reading, both authors.

Date Posted: 7/30/2008 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2005
Posts: 1,563
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Ken Bruen is outstanding. His material tends to be a bit dark / noir, but for my money you can't beat his Jack Taylor series for a gritty look at Galway, Ireland. The Taylor series in order:


  • The Guards 
  • The Killing of the Tinkers 
  • The Magdalen Martyrs 
  • The Dramatist 
  • Priest
  • Cross
  • Sanctuary (not yet published)

Bruen's Inspector Brant series is also outstanding, but is set in London not Ireland.

Date Posted: 7/30/2008 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2005
Posts: 1,563
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Irish born writer John Connolly writes one of my favorite series, the Charlie Parker series, which interestingly enough happens to be set in the U.S. Again, it is darker material but very well written.

Tana French recently made a big splash in 2007 with In The Woods, the follow up to which called The Likeness has just been released.

Date Posted: 7/30/2008 11:10 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 12,851
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I loved John McGahern's THE PORNOGRAPHER -- don't let the title sway you, it's ironic -- a terrific novel about relationships by a great Irish author.



Last Edited on: 7/30/08 11:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1

Subject: Irish Books
Date Posted: 7/30/2008 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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Don't know if you like mysteries, but I just finished "Haunted Ground" by Erin Hart.  It is set in contemporary Ireland and involves a current and 300-400 year old mystery.  No graphic violence, etc.  It would be categorized, I think, as a "traditional" mystery...the sleuths are an archeologist and (ok, I forgot....an anthropologist?).  I picked it up from the library and quite enjoyed it. 

Date Posted: 7/30/2008 11:59 AM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Some more Irish writers are

Elizabeth Bowen:  Encounters, The Last September; and The Death of the Heart (Set in London)


James Plunkett Strumpet City


Edna O’Brian, most everything, especially Country Girls

Maria Edgeworth is a good writer from another century. Castle Rackrent is considered  to be the first historical novel (1800).

I like the crime novels of Bartholomew Gill.

Date Posted: 7/30/2008 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
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I really enjoy Maeve Binchy and Cecelia Ahern. 

Clara, thanks for mentioning the Binchy books on your shelf.  I just requested one.  :)

Date Posted: 7/30/2008 4:28 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,508
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I also have Anne Enright's The Gathering on my TBR shelf - anyone read that?

Yes.  I have to say, after I finished it, I brought it back to the person who loaned it to me and said, "What did I do to you to make you loan me this book?"  It was horrible.

Date Posted: 7/30/2008 5:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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Oscar Wilde, the original Irish wit, and one of my absolute favorite writers.

Date Posted: 7/30/2008 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 10,718
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Susan Strempek Shea is Irish-American (lives in the US) - she has a great book set in Ireland called Becoming Finola.

Date Posted: 7/30/2008 8:13 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2008
Posts: 2,835
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Oscar Wilde is so very good. Did you ever read his essay on the Art of Lying? Every time I read Pratchett's theories on narrative causality I think og that essay. You should start a Wilde thread.