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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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Women Writers (Mary O’Donnell)

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Mary O’Donnell

Women Writers

Despite the recession being ‘over’, writing by female authors reacted to and interpreted background events ranging from the tragi-comic excess of the boom years, to the social and economic marginalisation that followed.

But some writers were preoccupied by other themes not quite within the ambit of boom and bust. Compelling writing appeared from Christine Dwyer Hickey (The Cold Eye of Heaven, 2011) and Deirdre Madden, for example. The latter’s novel, Time Present, and Time Past (2013), returns to one of her favourite themes, the relationship between memory and time. Dwyer Hickey’s novel also addresses time, and takes the reader in reverse chronology from 2010 to 1940s Dublin, tracing a backwards journey from prosperity to hardship. Meanwhile, in 2015 the gifted Sara Baume produced an isolated man, a one-eyed dog, and a telling sense of place in her debut novel Spill, Simmer, Falter, Wither.

More directly focused on the years of economic prosperity and after, is Lisa McInerney’s The Inglorious Heresies (2015), an award-winning novel set in a violent, drug-infected Cork that shares certain preoccupations that can be seen also in the writing of Claire Kilroy, Danielle McLaughlin, and Dame Edna O’Brien (The Little Red Chairs, 2015).

To read any of their work is to sense the mania that afflicted the country, swelling like a carbuncle while we accepted inflated prices as a matter of pride (‘Sure, can’t we afford it now?’) along with Finance Minister...

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