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New Voices, Inherited Lines

Literary and Cultural Representations of the Irish Family

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Edited By Yvonne O'Keeffe and Claudia Reese

Irish writers have always been fascinated by the family, sometimes depicting it as a traditional space under threat from external influences, sometimes highlighting the dangers lurking within. More recently, families have been represented as a type of safe haven from a bewildering postmodern world. At the heart of these constructions are questions of power and agency, as well as issues of class, gender, ethnicities and sexualities.
This collection of essays explores literary and cultural representations of the Irish family, questioning the validity of traditional familial structures as well as exploring newer versions of the Irish family emerging in more recent cultural representations. In addition to redefinitions of the nuclear family, the book also considers aspects of family constructions in Irish nationalist discourse, such as the symbolic use of the family and the interaction and conflict between private and public roles. The works and authors discussed range from Famine fiction, Samuel Beckett, Mary Lavin and John McGahern to Anne Enright, Colm Tóibín and Hugo Hamilton.

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Christopher Cusack is a PhD candidate in the English Department at Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. His research project, entitled Recollecting the Great Famine in Irish and Irish-Diaspora Fiction, 1892–1921, is part of the ERC-funded research programme Relocated Remembrance: The Great Famine in Irish (Diaspora) Fiction, 1847–1921. He is a co-editor of Recollecting Hunger: An Anthology (2012) and Global Legacies of the Great Irish Famine (under contract with Peter Lang). He has published essays and reviews in the Times Literary Supplement, Irish Studies Review, Atlantic Studies, English Studies, and the Irish University Review. Lindsay Janssen is a PhD candidate in the English Department at Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Her research project, Remembering the Great Hunger in Irish (Diaspora) Fiction, 1871–1891, is part of the larger ERC project Relocated Remembrance: The Great Famine in Irish (Diaspora) Fiction, 1847–1921. She has published in English Studies and the edited collection Mobile Narratives (2013). She is the co-editor of three books: Recollecting Hunger: An Anthology (2012); Holodomor and Gorta Mór (2012); and Global Legacies of the Great Irish Famine (under contract with Peter Lang). Yvonne O’Keeffe received her MA and PhD from the University of Limerick, Ireland. She undertook doctoral research on the emigrant novels of Mary Anne Madden Sadlier (1820–1903) and analysed Sadlier’s role in the construction of a transatlantic Irish Catholic identity in North America. Her publications include a chapter in Mobile Narratives: Travel, Migration and Transculturation in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature series (2013)...

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