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No Man’s Land

Irish Women and the Cultural Present


Sarah O'Connor

This book explores bilingualism and translation in contemporary women’s writing. The author argues that the ‘in-between’ or interstitial linguistic areas of bilingualism, translation and regionalism provide a language and imagery suitable for the expression of a specifically female consciousness. Throughout the book, she draws on the work of writers and critics in both Irish and English to construct a new method of reading Irish women’s writing in the latter half of the twentieth century and the early years of the twenty-first. These bold new readings demonstrate that the concept of interstitiality or the ‘in-between’ can enrich our understanding not only of Irish women’s literature in itself but also of the culture that produces this literature.


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Acknowledgements vii


Acknowledgements In 2003 I was awarded one of three doctoral scholarships on the theme of Women in Public and Cultural Life in Twentieth Century Ireland by the Republic of Ireland’s Higher Education Authority’s North-South Programme of Collaborative Research. This book leans heavily on my doctoral thesis, Women and Cultural Change in Twentieth Century Ireland: Regionalism, Bilingualism and Translation 1960–2006, but confines its focus to bilingualism and translation in contemporary women’s writing. Without the support of the HEA this research would not have been possible. Due to the focus on material in both Irish and English in my thesis, I worked under the joint supervision of Professor Gerardine Meaney and Professor Angela Bourke. They facilitated my development as a scholar in this field and I would like to thank them for their expertise and encourage- ment both during and after my doctoral research. Since completing my PhD I have been working as an assistant Professor in the Celtic Studies Department at the University of Toronto. I am extremely grateful to all my colleagues in Celtic Studies for their friend- ship and their ideas: Jean Talman, Professor David Wilson, Professor Máirín Nic Dhiarmada and Professor Ann Dooley. They have been wonderfully supportive of my work. I am particularly grateful to Professor Ann Dooley for her help, guidance and feedback all of which has been invaluable. I want to express my gratitude to the staf f at the Kelly Library in the University of Toronto, particularly Manda Vrkljan, Richard Carter...

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