Cabbage and Bones: An Anthology of Twentieth Century Irish American Women's Fiction

Overview

The story of Irish women in this country and their influence on American letters has until now been little recognized. In this unique and affecting anthology of fiction by Irish American women, the voices of some of our most important writers are finally celebrated. Organized chronologically from the 1930s to the present day, these twenty-four stories - some of which have never before been published in book form - explore the sometimes crushing love and obligations of family, the mixed blessing of faith, and the ...
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Overview

The story of Irish women in this country and their influence on American letters has until now been little recognized. In this unique and affecting anthology of fiction by Irish American women, the voices of some of our most important writers are finally celebrated. Organized chronologically from the 1930s to the present day, these twenty-four stories - some of which have never before been published in book form - explore the sometimes crushing love and obligations of family, the mixed blessing of faith, and the origins of identity and sexuality. They all serve to resurrect the powerful image, once buried, of Irish women as storytellers.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"These wonderful writers share their pain and triumphs with us in fiction that is so strong in some places it actually lifts itself off the page to haunt you from day to day with its sincerity and beauty."-Gloria Naylor

"Who knew American literature boasted such a dazzling parade of storytelling Irish women? Cabbage and Bones is a revelation."-Katha Pollitt

Library Journal
Irish American fiction has rarely been presented as a genre separate from Irish fiction, and in the instances when it has been, the focus is primarily on male writers. Inspired by the historical Irish women's immigration experience and the resulting literature, Kearns has compiled the first collection of Irish American women's fiction. The 24 contributions, from both well-known and obscure authors, are filled with recurring themes of family, immigration, and religion. What makes these stories memorable are the depth and variety of emotions that each writer brings to her subject matter. A true celebration of Irish American women's fiction and an affirmation of this unique perspective in American literature; highly recommended.Dianna Moeller, St. Martin's Coll. Lib., Lacey, Wash.
Kirkus Reviews
A startling, useful gathering of 25 stories by both familiar and overlooked Irish-American women writers. There's an intriguing continuity to the collection, which ranges from the work of the now little-known writers Ruth McKenney ("Noel Coward and Mrs. Griffin"), Mary Doyle Curran (represented by an excerpt from The Parish and the Hill), and Mary Deasy (an excerpt from Hour of Spring), active in the 1930s and '40s, up to such promising young writers as Eileen Fitzgerald ("Pork Chops"), Annie Callan ("How Ireland Lost the World Cup"), and Erin McGraw ("Daily Affirmations"). Maureen Howard in her foreword suggests that this continuity has to do both with a confessional frankness in the telling, as well as with the unblinking realism with which Irish- American women have always faced the challenging particulars of life in the US. Editor Kearns has assembled an impressive group of tales, and also illuminated an overlooked tradition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805052008
  • Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/15/1997
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
"Noel Coward and Mrs. Griffin" (1938) 3
"C.Y.E." (1944) 11
excerpt from The Parish and the Hill (1948) 21
excerpt from Hour of Spring (1948) 35
excerpt from Bridgeport Bus (1965) 56
"Life After Death" (1976) 69
"One of Them Gets Married" (1985) 86
"The Lover of Horses" (1986) 97
"Nijinsky" (1988) 111
"Queen Wintergreen" (1992) 129
excerpt from At Weddings and Wakes (1992) 144
"Mary's Departure" (1993) 164
"My Father's Boat" (1993) 182
"My Father's Alcoholism" (1994) 199
excerpt from One True Thing (1994) 214
"Versus" (1996) 228
"Pork Chops" (1996) 233
"City Life" (1996) 251
"Daily Affirmations" (1996) 272
"Famine Fever" (1996) 294
"Achill Ancestors and a Stranger" (1997) 301
excerpt from The Map of Ireland (1997) 314
"The Other Woman" (1997) 324
"How Ireland Lost the World Cup" (1997) 337
About the Authors 351
Permissions Acknowledgments 357
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