Traditions and Trends
Introduction: Complicating the Irish Short Story
Complicating the Irish Short Story
The twenty-first century has so far been good to the Irish short story. Major writers such as Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, William Trevor, Edna O’Brien, John McGahern, and Bernard MacLaverty published brilliant new short story collections or brought out collected stories to great acclaim.1 Many younger writers made their name with short story collections and went on to win important prizes: The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature was awarded to the short story collections of Claire Keegan (2000), Keith Ridgway (2001), Philip Ó Ceallaigh (2006), and Kevin Barry (2007), and the latter was also the 2012 winner of the Sunday Times Short Story Award. Cork hosted the first Frank O’Connor Short Story festival in 2000 and awarded its international prize to Edna O’Brien for Saints and Sinners in 2011 and to Colin Barrett for Young Skins in 2014. Colm Tóibín, Claire Keegan and Kevin Barry received the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, established in 2007, and many more Irish writers figured on its shortlists. In 2012, Mary Costello’s short story collection The China ← 1 | 2 → Factory was shortlisted for the Guardian First Fiction Award, while Anne Enright, Claire Keegan and Sara Baume were the recipients of the newly established Davy Byrnes Short Story Award.
To meet the demands of a reading public avid for short fiction, further, several new anthologies of Irish short fiction have been published since 2000. The...
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