The Vintage Book of Contemporary Irish Fiction

Overview

This dazzling anthology, edited and introduced by Dermot Bolger, is a splendidly comprehensive and up-to-the-minute collection of the finest recent fiction from a nation of master storytellers. This collection of astonishing breadth reveals a literature of genuine global stature, as ancient as the Irish Sea.

Contributors and stories include: John Banville, from Mefisto; Leland Bardwell, "The Hairdresser"; Sebastian Barry, from The Engine of Owl-Light; Mary Beckett, "Heaven"; ...

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Overview

This dazzling anthology, edited and introduced by Dermot Bolger, is a splendidly comprehensive and up-to-the-minute collection of the finest recent fiction from a nation of master storytellers. This collection of astonishing breadth reveals a literature of genuine global stature, as ancient as the Irish Sea.

Contributors and stories include: John Banville, from Mefisto; Leland Bardwell, "The Hairdresser"; Sebastian Barry, from The Engine of Owl-Light; Mary Beckett, "Heaven"; Samuel Beckett, "For to End Yet Again"; Sara Berkeley, "The Sky's Gone Out"; Dermot Bolger, "The Journey Home"; Claire Boylan, "Villa Marta"; Shane Connaughton, "Ojus"; Mary Dorcey, "The Husband"; Roddy Doyle, from The Snapper; Anne Enright, "Men and Angels"; Hugo Hamilton, from Surrogate City; Dermot Healy, "The Death of Matti Bonner"; Aidan Higgins, from Balcony of Europe; Desmond Hogan, from A Curious Street; Jennifer Johnston, from The Christmas Tree; Neil Jordan, "Last Rights"; Molly Kean, Patrick McCabe, from The Butcher Boy; Brian Moore, "The Sight"; Edna O'Brien, "What a Sky"; William Trevor, "The Ballroom of Romance"; Val Mulkerns, "Memory and Desire"; Robert McLiam Wilson, from Ripley Bogle, and many more.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ireland has never been short of quality writers, but since 1968, the year free secondary education was introduced, a storm of new writing has arisen, much of it approaching the potency of Joyce and Beckett and all of it serving to illustrate the diversity and dynamism of the contemporary Irish experience. The absence of work written in, or translated from, Gaelic notwithstanding, this anthology of short fiction and novel extracts from 50 writers (many previously unpublished in the U.S.) comes as close as possible to capturing the scope and vitality of Irish literature today. The collection opens with a late piece by Beckett, who's credited in the illuminating introduction as an increasingly important influence, and moves through sections arranged in the chronological order in which works are set. The juxtapositions are canny: younger bloods like Neil Jordan and Bernard MacLaverty rub shoulders with well-known writers like Mary Lavin and William Trevor, and the established young writers like Roddy Doyle and Patrick McCabe face off with even younger, but no less promising, newcomers like Bridget O'Connor and Colum McCann. Perhaps most remarkable is the variety of tone, style and topic; going far beyond traditional concerns, the selections show a society flexing its muscles. Sins of omission are inevitable in any anthology-bestseller Maeve Binchy, for example, is absent-but with selections from John Banville, Brian Moore, Edna O'Brian, Colm Toibin, John McGahern, Deirdre Madden, Gerardine Meaney and many more, this is a wide-ranging, highly readable and probably definitive survey of the wealth of talent in Ireland. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679765462
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/1995
  • Series: Vintage Series
  • Edition description: 1st Vintage Books ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 956,554
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
For to End Yet Again 3
The Man-Keeper 9
The Talking Trees 14
from The Killeen 29
from A Curious Street 36
from Black List, Section H 44
from The Christmas Tree 57
High Ground 67
Postcards 79
A Woman's Hair 83
from Balcony of Europe 91
Happiness 95
Blood and Water 113
Ojus 126
from The Butcher Boy 142
Villa Marta 152
from Burning Your Own 161
Cancer 171
The Ballroom of Romance 187
from Good Behaviour 209
Last Rites 216
Between Two Shores 226
Heaven 240
Memory and Desire 250
The Husband 265
What a Sky 282
from The Snapper 295
Oranges from Spain 303
If Angels had Wings 319
from Proxopera 325
Orange Horses 334
from The Journey Home 348
from The Heather Blazing 357
Mothers Were All the Same 373
The Sky's Gone Out 387
from Ripley Bogle 398
from Surrogate City 405
A Rock-'n'-Roll Death 418
from Remembering Light and Stone 425
from The Engine of Owl-Light 432
The Sight 442
Incident on the El Camino Real 463
Men and Angels 481
Counterpoints 490
The Hairdresser 496
from Mefisto 504
The Death of Matti Bonner 511
Absent Children 520
Divided Attention 524
Through the Field 534
Biographical Notes 547
Acknowledgements 557
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