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Jane Maxwell

The poor survival rate of primary sources for the history of Irish women in the early modern period is mitigated by the sophistication with which extant sources are now being analysed. When re-examined without reference to the demands of the traditional historical grand narrative, when each text itself is permitted to guide its own interrogation, previously undervalued texts are revealed to be insightful of individual existential experience. The memoir of eighteenth-century Dorothea Herbert, hitherto much ignored due to the authors mental illness, is becoming increasingly respected not just for its historic evidential value but for the revelations it contains of a distressed individuals use of literature to manage her circumstances. The interpretive tools deployed on such a text by different research specialisms necessarily lead to divergent conclusions; this in turn may lead to creative re-imagining of history although they cannot all equally reflect what was likely to have been the lived reality of the original author.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Diverse voices

This book focuses on the drama and poetry published since 1990. It also reflects upon related forms of creative work in this period, including film and the visual and performing arts. The book discusses some of the most topical issues which have emerged in Irish theatre since 1990. It traces the significance of the home in the poetry of Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Vona Groarke. The book also focuses on the reconfigurations of identity, and the complex intersections of nationality, gender and race in contemporary Ireland. It shows how Roddy Doyle's return to the repressed gives articulation to those left behind by globalisation. The book then examines the ways in which post-Agreement Northern fiction negotiates its bitter legacies. It also examines how the activity of creating art in a time of violence brings about an anxiety regarding the artist's role, and how it calls into question the ability to re-present atrocity. The book further explores the consideration of politics and ethics in Irish drama since 1990. It talks about the swirling abundance of themes and trends in contemporary Irish fiction and autobiography. The book shows that writing in the Irish Republic and in the North has begun to accommodate an increasing diversity of voices which address themselves not only to issues preoccupying their local audiences, but also to wider geopolitical concerns.

Irish fiction and autobiography since 1990
Liam Harte

subjectivity it is an exemplary Irish autobiographical text, the boynarrator’s quest for enlightenment being emblematic of a ceaseless struggle for mastery over a mutinous, possibly fictive, history. This struggle engenders in turn chronic feelings of homelessness and homesickness, interlinked themes which resonate through much recent Irish autobiography, the profusion of which led one acclaimed memoirist, Nuala O’Faolain, to assert that ‘Ireland, at the end of the twentieth 9780719075636_4_011.qxd 208 16/2/09 9:28 AM Page 208 Fiction and autobiography century, was

in Irish literature since 1990
Open Access (free)
Writing home in recent Irish memoirs and autobiographies (John McGahern’s Memoir, Hugo Hamilton’s The Speckled People, Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark and John Walsh’s The Falling Angels)
Stephen Regan

Irish autobiography, however, the intense relationship between the psychology of the self and the politics of nationhood has been rendered through an especially powerful and experimental preoccupation with place and time. One of the unusual and distinctive features of recent autobiographical writing has been its tendency to highlight its own spatial and temporal complexities as a way of denoting the problematic nature of identity. A strong commitment to the co-ordinates of place and time might well be expected in nationalist memoirs and autobiographical writings by

in Irish literature since 1990
Abstract only
Michael G. Cronin

–94 and pp. 217–34. Liam Harte, ‘Autobiography and the Irish Cultural Moment’, in Liam Harte (ed.), Modern Irish Autobiography: self, nation and society (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), p. 5–6. O’Faolain, Are You Somebody?, pp. 25–6. Ibid., p. 21. Ibid., p.47. ‘Chroidhe dhil’ is a Gaelic expression meaning ‘Beloved heart’. O’Faolain is referring to a letter, written by her father in the early years of their marriage, in which he addresses her mother with this phrase; ‘for years I could not read this letter: ‘Beloved Heart’ when they ended so badly!’. O

in Impure thoughts
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An emotional episode in public life
Emer Nolan

’Faolain, Are you somebody?, pp. 63, 64. 89 O’Faolain, Are you somebody?, p. 33. 90 O’Faolain, Are you somebody?, p. 108. 91 O’Faolain, Are you somebody?, p. 65. 92 O’Faolain, Are you somebody?, p. 125. 93 O’Faolain, Are you somebody?, p. 124. 94 O’Faolain, Are you somebody?, pp. 198–9. 95 Taura S. Napier, ‘Pilgrimage to the self: autobiographies of twentieth-century Irish women’, in Liam Harte (ed.), Modern Irish autobiography: self, nation and society (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), p. 85. 96 See Jill Franks’s exploration of the theme of the return to

in Five Irish women