Earlier this week, St Patrick’s Day set me thinking about contemporary Irish literature and musing on what I would recommend if I had to put together a sampling of fiction for someone wanting to get a taste of modern Irish writing. To make it more challenging, I decided to limit the list to five novels and this is what I came up with:
- Sebastian Barry:
A Long Long Waya poetic and sad novel about Ireland and the First World War.
- Colm Toibin:
The Blackwater Lightshipa story about complex family relationships and reconciliation.
- Joseph O’Connor:
Star of the Sea
a historical novel set against the backdrop of the Irish famine.
- John Banville:
The Seaa literary novel about grief, beautifully written
- John Boyne :
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamasa simple but powerful story about the Holocaust.
Inevitably, selections like this are subjective but each of these novels is quite different, each is beautifully written, and I am confident most readers will enjoy them.