Uncategorized | March 17, 2004

Saint Patrick’s Day is a perfect time to consider, along with its legacy of greasy breakfasts and rich beer, the literary tradition of that tiny, wonderful island, Ireland. Of course everyone knows of Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, W.B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett, John Synge. There are, of course, numerous wonderful Irish writers who don’t get quite as much attention who I’d like to honor today. Flann O’Brien is perhaps the most neglected Irish writer, for while he’s not exactly neglected (he’s in print), his books are wonderful and should be more widely read. My personal favorite is The Third Policeman, which is strange and beautiful and haunting. My favorite contemporary writer is William Trevor. Again, not a neglected writer, other than the fact that I feel everyone should be reading him and not everyone I know is, or has.

The list could go on: Roddy Doyle, Edna O’Brien, Seamus Heaney, Eavan Boland and American-Irish writers like Alice McDermott and J.F. Powers. I hope, along with green rivers, parades, music and Guinness, everyone is able to take a bit of time and enjoy some Irish literature.

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