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Focusing on the province of Munster, in southern Ireland, and panning back and forth over some four hundred years, from 1586 to 1956, Welch chronicles the family histories of the Condons, Herberts, Holmes, and the O'Dwyers. He focuses in on periods of great national disruption-the Elizabethean conquest, the Famine, emigration, the struggle for Irish independence. And he lets his characters speak in their own words, to tell us how they and their families fared through these events. It is their voices that make up Welch's story-individual, intimate, shockingly immediate-and the voices of their English masters. ""This powerful novel from Ireland is literature of the first rank, revealing a fiction born of the clash between history and legend.""-Booklist. ""Welch has succeeded brilliantly.""-New York Times Book Review
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How does one tell the story of a complicated place like Ireland? If you're a writer such as James Michener, you might start with a description of the geological forces that formed the island, move forward through the plant and animal life that developed there, and then wind your way through several millennia and a couple thousand pages of fictionalized history before ending in the present. If you're Robert Welch, however, you compress both the events and the ethos of the past four centuries into a mere 200 pages--and succeed in capturing the essence of Ireland better than any tome 10 times the length could hope to do.
Groundwork is a most impressive novel--the kind that pulls off a trick of astounding difficulty without breaking a sweat. In this tale of two families in County Munster, Welch ricochets between centuries, mixes it up with 22 major characters and evokes the tragedy of Anglo-Irish relations and the even greater tragedy of the Irish people's relations with each other in a masterful, highly readable style. Ireland's bardic tradition is alive and well in Robert Welch, and Groundwork is a sterling example of the art.From the Back Cover:
In this novel Robert Welch calls up voices bearing witness to some of the seismic historical events that continue to disturb the Irish psyche. Focusing on the province of Munster, and panning back and forth in time, Welch sets the Condons and O'Dwyers in periods of great national convulsions - the Elizabethan conquest, the Famine, emigration, the struggle for Irish independence. It is their voices - individual, intimate, shockingly immediate - and the voices of their English masters that let us hear and understand the human experience that lies below and between the lines of written history.
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Book Description Blackstaff Pr 1998-04-17, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Pages are clean and unmarked. Edging shows slight shelfwear from storage. Seller Inventory # 110425
Book Description Blackstaff Pr, 1998. Paperback. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0856406082
Book Description Blackstaff Pr, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0856406082
Book Description Blackstaff Pr, 1998. Paperback. Condition: Brand New. reprint edition. 202 pages. 8.75x5.25x0.50 inches. In Stock. Seller Inventory # 0856406082