The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories (Oxford Books of Prose & Verse)

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9780199583140: The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories (Oxford Books of Prose & Verse)

Ireland has been called a nation of story-tellers. "Stories of one kind or another have a way of pressing themselves into Irish conversation, both as entertainment and as a form of communication," writes William Trevor. "For centuries they have been offered to strangers, almost as hospitality is: tall stories, simple stories, stories of extraordinary deeds, of mysteries and wonders, of gentleness, love, cruelty, and violence." Himself an accomplished short story writer, Trevor has gathered here a collection of stories that represent not only the best of Irish short story writing, but the best of the genre.
Spanning the entire history of the Irish short story, from folk-tales to modern writing, this is the most broad-ranging anthology available. Included are such masters as James Joyce and Elizabeth Bowen, who established Ireland at the forefront of the modern short story, as well as Frank O'Connor and Sean O'Faolain, the two most important writers since Joyce and Bowen. Trevor has selected stories by Bernard McLaverty and Desmond Hogan to represent the new generation of writers. But, as Elizabeth Bowen observed, the modern short story in Ireland is "a young art," and it is against the nation's deeply rooted oral tradition that it must be considered. Toward this end, The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories includes seven folk tales translated from the Irish by Sean O'Sullivan, and Seamus MacManus's re-telling of an Irish fairy tale.
William Trevor is one of today's most famous and respected Irish writers. (His work is represented here by the short story "Death in Jerusalem.") The 45 stories he has selected for this anthology, for which he has written a generous introduction, cover a 250-year period and works by 35 authors. Together they demonstrate the development of the short story in Ireland, a land where a flair for storytelling has "become a national characteristic."

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About the Author:


William Trevor, novelist, short story writer, and dramatist, is the author of The Ballroom of Romance, Angels at the Ritz, The News from Ireland, and numerous other works.

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The short story, unlike the novel, is rooted in an oral tradition. Perhaps this explains its popularity and prominence in Ireland, where people have always delighted in the spoken word. From the magical folk tales and fairy stories, seven of which are given here, to classics like Joyce's "The Dead" and O'Connor's "Guests of the Nation," Trevor admirably suggests the variety as well as the continuity of this tradition. Seumus O'Keely's poignantly comic "The Weaver's Grave," about two elderly men's personal battle to remember the last free space in an ancient burial ground, is a turning point, mixing a modern sensibility with antique form. The modern story, which often portrays the brutality, repression, and disappointment characteristic of Irish life, is keenly represented by Mary Lavin's "Sarah." Trevor has chosen well. Bitter Harvest , which supplements Montague's The Book of Irish Verse (Macmillan, 1974; Peter Smith, 1984. reprint), a collection of verse from earliest times to the Irish Renaissance, is not quite as successful. The contemporary poets represented here write against the backdrop of political turmoil, but the verse, less thematically homogeneous than Montague would make us think, reels more from Yeats's powerful influence than from explosives. Included are so many poets who have just started their careers that one might wait on this collection to see if all the fruits of Ireland's "bitter harvest" are really worth saving.
- Donald P. Kaczvinsky, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Ireland has long been a nation of story-tellers. What began as a lively form of entertainment has grown into an unrivalled literary genre. Although Ireland may mourn the loss of the seanchai, the old hearthside story-teller, the Irish art of story-telling is by no means lost. This varied anthology traces the development of the Irish short story from the early folk-tales of the oral tradition through Oliver Goldsmith, Maria Edgeworth, James Joyce, and Liam O Flaherty, and on to the rising stars of the modern generation, such as Bernard Mac Laverty and Desmond Hogan. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199583140

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. Ireland has long been a nation of story-tellers. What began as a lively form of entertainment has grown into an unrivalled literary genre. Although Ireland may mourn the loss of the seanchai, the old hearthside story-teller, the Irish art of story-telling is by no means lost. This varied anthology traces the development of the Irish short story from the early folk-tales of the oral tradition through Oliver Goldsmith, Maria Edgeworth, James Joyce, and Liam O Flaherty, and on to the rising stars of the modern generation, such as Bernard Mac Laverty and Desmond Hogan. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780199583140

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Book Description OUP, 2010. Book Condition: New. 2010. Reissue. Paperback. Ireland has always been a nation of story-tellers. This magnificent anthology chronicles the development of a rich literary tradition, from the earliest folk-tales to James Joyce, Liam O'Flaherty, and the rising stars of the new generation. Editor(s): Trevor, William. Series: Oxford Books of Prose & Verse. Num Pages: 592 pages. BIC Classification: FA; FC; FYB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 128 x 35. Weight in Grams: 426. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780199583140

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Book Description OUP. Book Condition: New. 2010. Reissue. Paperback. Ireland has always been a nation of story-tellers. This magnificent anthology chronicles the development of a rich literary tradition, from the earliest folk-tales to James Joyce, Liam O'Flaherty, and the rising stars of the new generation. Editor(s): Trevor, William. Series: Oxford Books of Prose & Verse. Num Pages: 592 pages. BIC Classification: FA; FC; FYB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 196 x 128 x 35. Weight in Grams: 426. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780199583140

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