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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?

OP’s posts: |
cjbk1 Tue 14-May-13 20:34:56

get yourself to listowel writers week!

aloysiusflyte Tue 14-May-13 20:37:06

Troubles by JG Farrell, set in Ireland during the Irish War of Independence.

I really enjoyed it, literary but easy to get into and a great story. smile

BunnyLebowski Tue 14-May-13 20:40:22

Four Letters of Love is absolutely lovely.

Moln Tue 14-May-13 20:41:12

Have you tried a Joseph O'Connor or Colm Tóibín?

I'm not able to recommend them personally as I'm no fan of either, but I know people have different tastes and other people do like them!

FreeButtonBee Tue 14-May-13 20:47:02

"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.

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.

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.

OP’s posts: |
tripfiction Tue 14-May-13 22:04:51

You can find fiction set in Ireland on this link; Hope you find something you like!

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

How about Amongst Women by John McGahern?

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

Have you tried any Elizabeth Bowen?

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?

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

colin bateman?

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.

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.

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"

(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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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