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Recalling the Celtic Tiger

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Edited By Eamon Maher, Eugene O'Brien and Brian Lucey

This book looks at various effects, symptoms and consequences of the period in Irish culture known as the Celtic Tiger. It will trace the critical pathway from boom to bust – and up to the current beginnings of a similar, smaller boom – through events, personalities and products. The short entries offer a sense of the lived experience of this seismic period in contemporary Irish society.

While clearly not all aspects of the period could realistically be covered, the book does contain essential information about the central actors, events, themes, and economic trends, which are discussed in a readable and accessible manner. Each entry is linked to the overall Celtic Tiger phenomenon and its immediate aftermath.

The book also provides a comprehensive account of what happened in this period and will be a factual resource for anyone anxious to discover information on the areas most commonly connected to it. All entries are written by experts in the area. The contributors include broadcasters, economists, cultural theorists, sociologists, literary critics, journalists, politicians and writers, each of whom brings particular insights to some aspect of the Celtic Tiger.

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Suburban Literature (Eoghan Smith)

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Eoghan Smith

Suburban Literature

The mass expansion of housing during the Celtic Tiger was principally suburban, so it is no surprise that a substantial body of suburban literature was produced during these years. Although the suburbs are often negatively associated with homogeneity, dullness, and uniformity, suburban Irish literature during the Celtic Tiger was as rich, varied, and vibrant as the period it emerged from. While it is not possible to provide a comprehensive survey of suburban literature here, a number of trends are discernible.

In general, literature about the suburban working classes tends to expose increasing social deprivation in a time of unprecedented economic growth. One of the most prominent writers of the suburbs during the early years of the Celtic Tiger is Roddy Doyle. Based on Kilbarrack on Dublin’s northside, Doyle’s Barrytown is perhaps the most famous fictional suburb in Irish writing, and was the setting for comedic, if socially conscious, pre-Celtic Tiger works such as The Snapper (1990), The Van (1991), and Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (1993). Doyle’s later works set in working-class suburbs of north Dublin, such as The Woman Who Walked into Doors (1996) and Paula Spencer (2006,) uncover hidden, violent realities of suburban life. Equally, if not more so, dark portrayals of Irish working-class suburban life were replicated by other writers. Dramatists such as Mark O’Rowe and Dermot Bolger in their plays Howie the Rookie (1999) and the ‘Ballymun Trilogy’ respectively focused on the left-behind working classes, offering...

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