Get Your Irish On

Belfast, Writer's Square

Writer’s Square, Belfast (copyright, Albert Bridge; reused under creative commons license)

Ireland has produced so many familiar writers, from James Joyce and Oscar Wilde to more current classics, like Frank McCourt and Angela’s Ashes. For St. Patrick’s Day, Barnes & Noble assembled a short list of contemporary authors who keep the country’s storytelling traditions going. Here are three of theirs and two of mine:

  • Colm Tóibín – “a living link to Irish history,” from his grandfather’s arrest during the Easter Rising (its centenary is this year) to his father’s affiliation with the IRA. Best known to American audiences is his novel Brooklyn, made into a wonderful 2015 film, reviewed here.
  • Neil Jordan, novelist and screenwriter (known best for the 1992 movie, The Crying Game). “A clear, poetic style.”
  • Tana French, the award-winning “First Lady of Irish Crime” is a master of twisty plots with deep psychological resonance. I read her Broken Harbor in 2013, and especially admired her unforgettable depiction of a mentally unbalanced character.
  • Glenn Patterson, whose novel The International (review) has been called “The best book about the Troubles ever written,” and it isn’t about bloodshed and betrayal at all.
  • Adrian McKinty, who also writes about Belfast and its residents and expats, profiled here. Great humor. I’ve listened to three of them, and Gerard Doyle’s audio narration is sublime!

No blarney here!

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