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Territories of the Voice

Territories of the Voice

by Louise DeSalvo, Katherine Hogan (Editor), Kathleen Walsh D'Arcy (Editor)

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the introduction to this valuable volume of 27 stories, the editors offer a brief, instructive survey of the publishing scene in Ireland, noting that there has been an ``explosion of contemporary Irish women's writing.'' The stories they have selected, most of them written after 1960, are of nearly uniform excellence. While such familiar authors as Edna O'Brien, Elizabeth Bowen, Julia O'Faolain, Maeve Binchy and Jennifer Johnson are represented, fresh, new voices speak in distinctive tones. The range of subject matter is broad, encompassing such vexing topics as sexual oppression, war and the daily realities of life in a country where, as Evelyn Conlon puts it in ``Park-going Days,'' ``No woman . . . had any doubt but that God was a man.'' In Ann McKay's ``Checkpoint'' we read of a lover who is ``a gangster of hearts''; the boarding school student in ``All Fall Down'' by Helen Lucy Burke fears her drunkard father will visit and disgrace her by ``lurching over the parquet floor.'' Almost without exception, the stories are richly atmospheric, written in spare, supple prose and animated by dialogue that rings true. Readers should welcome this trove of fine writing. (Nov.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Many voices have defined the Irish experience, but one voice was never heard: the woman's voice. This collection proves that it is a voice worth hearing. Included here are such well-known writers as Edna O'Brien, Julia O'Faolain, and Mary Lavin, as well as lesser-known (but often surprisingly powerful) writers. The stories rarely romanticize, instead providing a portrait gallery of real Irish women: urban and rural; Catholic and Protestant; from the Republic and from the North; young, middle-aged, and old. The editors' introduction provides a background for understanding the stories and women's political, economic, and historical role in Irish society. Highly recommended.--Donald P. Kaczvinsky, Pennsylvania State Univ., University Park

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