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Giving Shape to the Moment

The Art of Mary O'Donnell: Poet, Novelist and Short Story Writer


Edited By Maria Elena Jaime de Pablos

This is the first book to provide a critical assessment of the work of the Irish author Mary O’Donnell. The essays collected here engage with O’Donnell’s writing across multiple genres and explore the themes and preoccupations that have characterized her oeuvre. Alongside her creative work, O’Donnell’s has been a steady and continuing voice for many years within the world of theatre criticism, book reviewing, essay writing, radio broadcasts and cultural commentary.

As a writer, O’Donnell’s principal themes include contemporary Irish society, the position of women in Ireland and the role of the artist. Throughout her career, her approach has been unconventional and her work has sometimes presented a challenge to the status quo. The contributors to this volume illuminate O’Donnell’s role as a humanist writer searching for truth at all costs, through the fictive lives of her often unusual characters, and through the emotional range and depth of her poetry.

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Notes on Contributors


ANNE FOGARTY is Professor of James Joyce Studies at University College Dublin and the founder and co-editor, with Luca Crispi, of the Dublin James Joyce Journal. She has been the director of the Dublin James Joyce Summer School since 1997. She is co-editor of Joyce on the Threshold (with Timothy Martin, 2005), Bloomsday 100: Essays on ‘Ulysses’ (with Morris Beja, 2009), Imagination in the Classroom: Teaching and Learning Creative Writing in Ireland (with Éilís Ni Dhuibhne and Eibhear Walshe, 2013) and Voices on Joyce (with Fran O’Rourke, 2015). She is currently completing, with Marisol Morales Ládron, a co-edited collection of essays on the Northern Irish novelist Deirdre Madden for Manchester University Press and a monograph on the politics of cultural memory in James Joyce’s Ulysses. She has published widely on aspects of twentieth-century and contemporary Irish writing.

ÉILÍS NÍ DHUIBHNE is a graduate of University College Dublin, where she studied English and Folklore. She was conferred with a PhD in Irish Folklore in 1982. She has published around thirty books, including novels, short story collections, children’s fiction and works of non-fiction, in addition to many articles. Her literary criticism is regularly published in The Irish Times. She has won several literary awards, the most recent of which was the Irish Pen Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Irish Literature. She currently teaches Creative Writing at University College Dublin. She is a member of Aosdána and serves on the Toscaireacht, the board of...

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