Strangers in a strange land?
The new Irish multicultural fiction
in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
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This chapter problematises Irish multiculturalism through its analysis of the contemporary fiction of Irish-born writers Roddy Doyle, Claire Keegan and Emma Donohue, and immigrant author Cauvery Madhavan. It maintains that there are two ways of representing multiculturalism in Ireland: as an ‘obstacle’ that can be easily overcome by the hospitality, friendliness, and goodwill of Irish people, or as ‘a complicated and unresolved process,’ which leads to cultural anxiety and conflict. Whereas Doyle and Keegan adopt the first stance on the matter, by minimising the problems posed by Irish multiculturalism, Donohue and Madhavan offer a more complex representation of cross-cultural encounters which better reflects the difficulties experienced by immigrants today. In this sense, for the author of this chapter, the most contested issue in current multicultural representations is not who speaks and from which perspective, but rather how the interaction between the Irish and the immigrants is represented.

Literary visions of multicultural Ireland

The immigrant in contemporary Irish literature

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