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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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abjection 170, 199 abuse 64, 49, 125 domestic abuse 36, 50 child abuse 75, 87–9, 205, 214 alcoholism 36, 50–1, 217 American dream 47, 50 autobiography, Irish 148–53, 154 bad times 11, 20, 46 beauty 114, 171, 196 body 91, 101, 103, 105, 176, 177–8, 181, 208 and Christianity 67, 72 Catholicism 14, 19, 35, 38, 53, 60–72, 75, 76, 77, 79, 188, 210 and nationalism 80–7 child narrator 147, 154 childhood memoir 153–4 clachan 8, 20 closure 18, 24, 28, 214 community 20, 43–5, 59, 114, 117, 127, 153, 155, 177, 210, 217, 221 Constitution, Irish 8, 36, 113, 114, 118, 123, 138, 187–88, 200 death 13, 17, 21, 26–7, 42, 72, 94, 99, 100, 139, 199, 203–22 disinterment 208–10, 214 displacement 13, 166 domesticity 57, 58, 187 emigrant letters 46–8 emigration 10, 13, 17, 29, 36, 38–9, 40–2, 166 family cell 36, 47, 53 family, construction of 123 family unit 8–11, 35–6, 53, 77, 81, 86, 88, 113, 127, 150, 170, 181 family secrets 147, 155, 160, 208, 216 feminism 190 Great Famine, the 7–30, 37, 46 identity 139, 141, 147, 149 construction of 129, 153, 154, 155 cultural 10, 29 hyphenated 159 Irish 35, 177 national 150, 199 personal 136, 139 imaginative af finity of mother and author in Beckett 92, 104–7 kinship 111, 112, 120, 123, 126, 149 Land Wars, the 15, 19, 20, 21 manners 127,...

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