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  • Cited by 2
  • Volume 5
  • Edited by Eve Patten, Trinity College Dublin
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
February 2020
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:

Book description

This volume explores the history of Irish writing between the Second World War (or the 'Emergency') in 1939 and the re-emergence of violence in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. It situates modern Irish writing within the contexts of cultural transition and transnational connection, often challenging pre-existing perceptions of Irish literature in this period as stagnant and mundane. While taking into account the grip of Irish censorship and cultural nationalism during the mid-twentieth century, these essays identify an Irish literary culture stimulated by international political horizons and fully responsive to changes in publishing, readership, and education. The book combines valuable cultural surveys with focussed discussions of key literary moments, and of individual authors such as Seán O'Faoláin, Samuel Beckett, Edna O'Brien, and John McGahern.


‘… a remarkably ambitious project, taking the temperature of Irish literature from 1730 to the present in approximately 2,400 pages.’

Anthony Roche Source: Irish Times

‘The final essay of the collection, by Shaun Richards, is a very useful overview of the development of critical approaches and practices in the period. Irish Literature in Transition 1940-1980 is an expertly-edited collection of essays. The essays are lucid, insightful and jargon-free. For Irish Studies scholars of this period, it is indispensable.’

Eoghan Smith Source: Irish Studies Review

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