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Chapter 12 - Diasporic Afterlives

An Irish–Jewish Archive for Ruth Gilligan’s Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 January 2024

Malcolm Sen
Affiliation:
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Julie McCormick Weng
Affiliation:
Texas State University
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Summary

The title of this essay references two provocative discourses in contemporary critical conversation, both of which inform my reading of Ruth Gilligan’s extraordinary novel, Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan (2016). “Afterlives” alludes to Paige Reynolds’ Modernist Afterlives in Irish Literature and Culture (2016), a volume that explores how the “themes, forms and practices of high modernism are manifest in Irish literature and culture produced subsequent to that cultural movement.” Following Reynolds’ lead, this essay expands the idea of “afterlives” to include “diaspora” and “race” while constructing an archive of Irish–Jewish texts, both fictive and academic, for a novel that concerns the intersections of Irish and Jewish characters at three historical moments: the inaugural decade of the twentieth century, the years during and after World War II, and the fall of the Celtic Tiger economy in the present century.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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