‘Many and terrible are the roads to home’
Representations of the immigrant in the contemporary Irish short story
in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
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This chapter explores reconfigurations of traditional national identities in the short fiction of Edna O’ Brien, Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, Colum McCann, Mary O'Donnell, and Éilís Ní Dhuibhne. Drawing on Paul Ricoeur's observations about selfhood and Otherness, the author demonstrates that these writers frequently use the figure of the immigrant in order to scrutinise, in the postnational context of Ireland, the shattering of conventional notions about self, family, and community. As the author shows, the immigrant never appears as an isolated motif in fictional portrayals of contemporary Ireland. Rather, the description of such a character tends to be linked with incisive explorations of contemporary Irishness.

Literary visions of multicultural Ireland

The immigrant in contemporary Irish literature


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