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Irish Children's Literature and Culture: New Perspectives on Contemporary Writing

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Overview

What constitutes a ‘national literature’ is rarely straightforward, and it is especially complex when discussing writing for young people in an Irish context. Until recently, there was only a slight body of work that could be classified as ‘Irish children’s literature’ (whatever the parameters) in comparison with Ireland’s contribution to adult literature in the twentieth century. This volume looks critically at Irish writing for children from the 1980s to the present, examining the work of many writers and illustrators and engaging with all the major forms and genres. Topics include the gothic, the speculative, picturebooks, poetry, post-colonial discourse, identity and ethnicity, and globalization. Modern Irish children’s literature is also contextualized in relation to Irish mythology and earlier writings, thereby demonstrating the complexity of this fascinating area. The contributors, who are leading experts in their fields, examine a range of texts in relation to contemporary literary and cultural theory, and also in relation to writing for adults, thereby inviting a consideration of how well writing for a young audience can compare with writing for an adult one. This groundbreaking work is essential reading for all interested in Irish literature, childhood, and children’s literature.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A fresh and inspiring collection of essays. This study offers indispensable insight into topical questions and developments for both acacdemics and the general children's literature aficionado."
- Bookbird
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Valerie Coghlan is Librarian at Church of Ireland College of Education, Dublin, Ireland. Keith O'Sullivan is Lecturer in English at Church of Ireland College of Education, Dublin, Ireland.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Picture Books that Transcend Boundaries Sandra Beckett 2. Belief and Unbelief: Inscriptions of Religion and Cultural Identity Valerie Coghlan 3. Contemplating Otherness in Speculative Fiction Patricia Kennon 4. Child’s Play: The Child and the Nation Jarlath Kileen 5. Walking into the Night: Growing up with the Gothic Anne Markey 6. ‘The past is gone anyway’: The importance of Memory and History Sharon Murphy 7. Mythologizing the Present Ciara Ní Bhroin 8. Location, Location, Location: The Significance of Place Eilís Ní Dhuibne 9. Insularity and Internationalism: Between Local Production and the Global Marketplace Emer O’Sullivan 10. Linguistic and Narratological Representations of Selfhood Keith O’Sullivan 11. Family Amanda Piesse 12. Meanings and Means: Children's Poetry Mary Shine Thompson 13. The Irish Call of Aladdin: "New Tales for Old!" Máire Uí Mhaicín 14. Coming of Age and Youth Culture Pádraic Whyte

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