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Giving Shape to the Moment

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

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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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‘How welcome, necessary and timely a collection of essays such as this one is. That the individual articles are so highly engaging and compelling ensures that this will be a very valuable resource for readers and students of contemporary Irish writing.’

— Margaret Kelleher, University College Dublin

‘This first and long overdue study of the work of one of our most talented and essential Irish writers is to be warmly welcomed. The diversity of topics covered reflects the range of O’Donnell’s interests throughout a career that has seen her write insightfully about issues that have shaped Irish society over the past number of decades, a period of enormous social and ideological change.’

— Eamon Maher, National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies, IT Tallaght

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...

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