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Chapter 14 - Killers, Lovers, and Teens: Contemporary Genre Fiction

from Part Three - Forms and Practices

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2020

Paige Reynolds
Affiliation:
College of the Holy Cross, Massachusetts
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Summary

The display shelves of Irish bookstores, while showcasing the occasional Yeats collection or Joyce novel, are filled largely with crime fiction, romance novels, and young adult (YA) books. This chapter surveys the status of the crime novel in Ireland, a topic that has drawn established “highbrow” writers such as John Banville, who writes successful crime novels under the pseudonym of Benjamin Bratton, as well as other talented scribes including Tana French. This chapter also examines the popular romance, or “chick lit” – a genre dominated by Irish women writers since the days of Rosa Mulholland – and its success in work by Marian Keyes, Cecelia Ahern, and Sarah Harte. It also attends to the growing influence of children’s and young adult fiction, particularly focusing on the boom in YA fiction, led by writers such as Louise O’Neill. What do these books, and their popularity, tell us about contemporary Ireland? Are these forms of genre fiction inherently conservative?

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The New Irish Studies , pp. 244 - 258
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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