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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Lit O' the Irish

Happy St. Patrick's Day to ya!  As a pasty little Irish (American) girl, I thought I'd share a little Emerald Isle book love with you today.  So while you're drinking your Irish coffee or your green beer, why dontcha pick up one of these Irish lovelies to peruse?  (Assuming you can still see straight.)

Ireland is home to some of the most popular/famous/complex novels and writers in history, inlcuding:
  • James Joyce (Ulysses, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Dubliners, Finnegan's Wake, etc)
  • Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes)
  • Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels, countless hilarious satiric pieces)
  • Bram Stoker (Dracula)
  • Samuel Beckett (famous playwright, Waiting For Godot among the many)
  • Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl!)
  • CS Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia)
  • John Banville (Booker Prize winner for The Sea)
  • Anne Enright (Booker Prize winner for The Gathering)

The Sheila Variations posted this list of the top 50 Irish Novels, based on voting from The Irish Times and the James Joyce Center:

James Joyce Ulysses (1922)
James Joyce A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)
John McGahern Amongst Women (1990)
Flann O'Brien At Swim Two Birds (1939)
Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Grey (1891)
Jonathan Swift Gullivers Travels (1726)
Flann O'Brien The Third Policeman (1967)
Bram Stoker Dracula (1897)
John Banville The Book of Evidence 1988
Patrick McCabe The Butcher Boy (1992)
James Plunkett Strumpet City (1969)
C. S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950)
Edna O'Brien The Country Girls (1960)
Samuel Beckett Molloy (1951)
Patrick Kavanagh Tarry Flynn (1948)
Brian Moore Judith Hearne (1955)
Elizabeth Bowen The Last September (1929)
Lawrence Sterne Tristram Shandy (1760)
Jennifer Johnston How Many Miles to Babylon? (1974)
Kate O'Brien The Land of Spices (1941)
Samuel Beckett Murphy (1938)
John McGahern The Barracks (1963)
Maria Edgeworth Castle Rackrent (1800)
Roddy Doyle The Woman Who Walked Into Doors (1996)
Seamus Deane Reading in the Dark (1996)
William Trevor Felicia's Journey (1994)
Jennifer Johnston The Captains and the Kings (1972)
William Trevor Fools of Fortune (1983)
Molly Keane Good Behaviour (1981)
Colm Toibin The South (1990)
Sam Hanna Bell December Bride (1950)
Somerville and Ross The Real Charlotte (1894)
Brian Moore The Emperor of Ice Cream (1965)
Eugene McCabe Death and Nightingales (1992)
James Stephens The Charwomen's Daughter (1912)
Keith Ridgway The Parts (2003)
J G Farrell The Siege of Krishnapur (1973)
Aidan Higgins Langrishe Go Down (1966)
Francis Stuart Black List, Section H (1971)
Charles Maturin Melmoth the Wanderer (1820)
Christopher Nolan The Banyan Tree (1999)
John Banville Birchwood 1973
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu Uncle Silas (1864)
George Moore A Drama in Muslin (1886)
George Moore Esther Waters (1894)
Thomas Kilroy The Big Chapel (1971)
William Carleton The Black Prophet (1847)
Deirdre Madden The Birds of the Innocent Wood (1988)
Hugo Hamilton Surrogate City (1990)
Sean O'Reilly Love and Sleep (2002)

But you can find some great Irishness right here in the States, too! Just grab yourself a copy of anything by
  • Cormac McCarthy
  • Flannery O'Connor
  • Jeffrey Eugenides
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Mary Higgins Clark
  • Henry James
  • Conan O'Brien (!)
  • Anne Rice
  • John Steinbeck
  • Nora Roberts
  • JD Salinger
  • Kate Chopin
  • Nicholas Sparks

Check out this list of Irish authors  or this one of Irish-American authors for more, and may the luck of the Irish be with you!


  1. Happy St Patrick te ya Misty ! :) Irish pubs are full here in Paris, it's madness ! Such a fun time.

    Thanks for the recommendations !

  2. Thanks for the list, Misty. Wilde, Swift, and Stoker, I can handle. Joyce - no, or rather, not yet!

  3. I hear ya, Mole. Read Portrait of the Artist in High School. That was enough for me (for now).


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