If you don’t fancy drinking green beer, there are lots of other ways to honour Irish culture: there’s plenty in film, art and literature that avoids the pastiche of leprechauns and shamrocks – but have clear Irish voices with universal appeal. Here are three books published in the past year from some of the country’s best writers:
Edna O’Brien’s Country Girl is the Irish writer’s memoir; the title refers to her breakthrough novel Country Girls, published in 1960 — which began to win O’Brien a reputation both as a great writer and a racy novelist. The women in her early books yearned, as she did, for something more.Independence, freedom of thought, sexual liberation. She gave voice to a generation of inner wants and desires.
Maeve Binchy’s last book, A Week in Winter, was released after she died last July at the age of 72. She had finished this book a few weeks prior and was apparently just working on the final polish, which her editor completed. It makes this book poignant, and that poignancy is impossible to ignore.
Roddy Doyle’s The Guts revisited one of the endearing characters from Doyle’s breakout hit The Commitments – Jimmy Rabbitte. The language is just as nasty as it was in the original Barrystown trilogy — the dialogue written without quotation marks … The Irish oral tradition captured in a narrative, but with a bittersweet humour all its own.