Irish literary fiction

(30 Posts)
TeddyMercury Tue 14-May-13 20:28:34

I am on the lookout for some fiction set in Ireland - ideally where the 'set in Ireland' aspect isn't incidental. The obvious stuff (Angela's Ashes etc) I will probably have read. I enjoyed Any Human Season very much, if that's any guide...

I prefer literary fiction (nothing against Marion Keyes at all, but I'm not keen on those sort of 'light reads')

Any suggestions?

MerkinMaker Fri 31-May-13 23:35:19

I enjoyed the two Dublin books by Edward Rutherfurd.

NomNomDePlum Tue 28-May-13 13:10:10

i've just read claire kilroy's the devil i know, a good read if you're interested in novels about contemporary ireland. also recommend short stories by clare keegan and kevin barry (i would avoid his novel though, it's completely asinine). skippy dies by paul murray also pretty good.

Badvoc Tue 28-May-13 12:52:46

Roddy Doyle

icetip Sun 26-May-13 21:17:04

Try Joyce's Dubliners. Short stories, all very readable (no Finnegan's Wake) and the closing story The Dead is, in my opinion, one of the finest pieces of writing ever.

EatenByZombies Wed 22-May-13 17:33:46

I've read a memoir called Don't Wake Me At Doyles by Maura Murphy. It's absolutely amazing and should be read. It's about her life in a poor family from birth (1920's) until present day, and her life has been pretty extraordinary. It describes Irish life in those times quite well, I felt. Try it!

My Left Foot is really good too (though pretty obvious)

marchduck Sat 18-May-13 21:59:28

Another vote for John McGahern. I can't choose which is my favourite between "That they may face the rising sun" and
"Memoir". I read the last few pages of Memoir every so often; just such spare, beautiful writing.

SilverViking Thu 16-May-13 18:34:16

Colin Bateman - really enjoyed the one with carrot cake in the title.

SilverViking Thu 16-May-13 18:33:59

Colin Bateman - really enjoyed the one with carrot cake in the title.

Moln Thu 16-May-13 17:42:02

just thought "linked to" doesn't mean about, but some of them are!!

Moln Thu 16-May-13 17:40:26

mmack's suggestion of Strumpet City made me remember that it was this years 'One City, One Book"

http://www.dublinonecityonebook.ie/about

(have to point out I'm on a tablet here and can't recall how to do a link, nor do I know if it'll be automatically converted!)

All the books chosen are linked to Dublin, and if that think doesn't work Google one city one book and got to the 'About' part and all the past books are listed on the left hand side

NicknameTaken Thu 16-May-13 14:42:01

And the Ross O'Carroll-Kelly books are very funny, but you've got to understand the Dublin 4 accent and slang, as they're pretty impenentrable otherwise.

NicknameTaken Thu 16-May-13 14:40:55

If you're interested in slightly older stuff, Frank O'Connor's short stories are wonderful. Try My Oedipus Complex as a taster.

I also have a fondness for The Irish RM by Somerville and Ross.

UseHerName Thu 16-May-13 00:29:31

colin bateman?

maillotjaune Wed 15-May-13 19:55:42

I don't think Brooklyn is Toibin's finest but I do like his writing. Probably prefer the ones set out of Ireland and his non-fiction.

I second McGahern's That They May Face The Rising Sun.

If you're looking for weightier stuff how about some Joyce or Beckett?

PlumBear Wed 15-May-13 12:57:03

Have you tried any Elizabeth Bowen?

mmack Wed 15-May-13 12:45:06

Sebastian Barry's A Long Long Way and the Secret Scripture are two very good books that capture interesting periods in Irish history. James Plunkett's Strumpet City is set in Dublin during the 1913 lockout, and is one of my all-time favourites. Also not mentioned before but worth a look are Jennifer Johnston and Walter Macken.
Tana French writes top-class crime novels set in Ireland and John Banville's Benjamin Black books are very good too.
I would also agree that Colm Toibin is good but very overpraised. Brooklyn was very chick-lit-ish really

isitsnowingyet Wed 15-May-13 06:45:44

William Trevor - one of the best writers and Irish to boot!

AgIomparClinne Wed 15-May-13 06:35:20

How about Sebastian Barry, John Banville or William Trevor?

Are you only interested in current/modern authors or might you try some Flann O'Brien?

Non fiction but Peter Sheridan's memoir 44 is supposed to be very good.

DuchessofMalfi Wed 15-May-13 06:23:41

I agree, Edna O'Brien's novels are great. They should fit the bill smile

elkiedee Wed 15-May-13 02:24:52

Edna O'Brien, The Country Girls and Girl with Green Eyes.

DuchessofMalfi Tue 14-May-13 22:24:06

How about Amongst Women by John McGahern?

tripfiction Tue 14-May-13 22:04:51

You can find fiction set in Ireland on this link; http://www.tripfiction.com/Search?Location=Ireland Hope you find something you like!

TeddyMercury Tue 14-May-13 21:09:52

Thank you! I have ordered Troubles, Lamb and Four Letters of Love.

I have read a couple of Ann Enright, but thank you for the suggestion.

I agree about Tóibín, Moln. His stuff has always seemed rather slight.

Moln Tue 14-May-13 20:51:03

Another name that springs to mind that might fit your bill is Anne Enright. However I can't offer an opinion as I've not read one of her books.

Going back to my first two suggestions I dislike Tóibín mostly because he gets more kudos (this is imo) than he deserves, his writing is similar to Meave Binchy, but not as well developed (again imo). He get this kudos because he's male and therefore his books don't automatically get lumped into light fiction / chick lit.

"That they may face the rising sun"is amazingly beautiful. Slow, measured, deeply touching.

Lamb by Bernard maclaverty - a book that was not spoilt by studying it at school!
The butcher boy is dark and fairly gruesome

Oh! What about the Barrytoen trilogy - roddy Doyle. They are excellent.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now