ESSENTIAL LIBRARY FOR IRISH AMER Hardcover – Mar 9 1999
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From Library Journal
American-born Irish historical novelist Llywelyn (1916, LJ 2/15/98) has compiled an annotated bibliography of works she feels anyone interested in Irish studies ought to read. Descriptions are provided for titles in categories including biography, history, folklore, novels, and poetry. Many works are recent publications, such as Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization (LJ 3/15/95), but standard Irish classics are well represented, e.g., Sean O'Casey's Autobiographies, J.M. Synge's Aran Islands, and Cecil Woodham-Smith's The Great Hunger. Novelists include James Joyce, Walter Macken, James Plunkett, Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, and Maeve Binchy; poets include Seamus Heaney, John Montague, and W.B. Yeats. As with similar "must read" lists, one can argue for the inclusion of other works, but this compilation is one person's opinion. One notable omission, however, is any collection of short stories. Nonetheless, Llywelyn provides the basis for a solid grounding in Irish studies. Recommended for public and academic libraries.ADenise J. Stankovics, Rockville P.L., Vernon, CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Since 1980 MORGAN LLYWELYN has created a body of work chronicling the Celts and Ireland, from the earliest times to the present day. Her critically acclaimed novels, both of history and of mythology, have been translated into many languages. She lives in Ireland.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
In this book,the first thing you get is a Introduction in which Llywelyn explains why Ireland has such an enviable reputation for literature.This alone,is worth the price of the book.
In the book ,Llywelyn discusses 100 books that she choose that exemplifies Irish Literature,and thus Irish culture.The books are categorized in 9 sections;Autobiography,Biograpgy and Memoirs;History;Humor;Ireland and America;Mythology and Fokelore;Novels;Poetry;Reference Books; and Travel and Picture Books.There is a very good Index both by titles and authors.Also included are suggested sources for Irish-Interest Books,both in North America and Ireland as well as the Internet.
With an average of two pages per book;she gives a brief description and summary of the book and the reason she chose it.Her approach on each book is far superior to what one usually gets from professional critics.
I have many,though not all,of the books covered,and it makes a good reference to turn to if one wants to know what any of these books is about,and why they are some of the best on each subject.
Of all the ones I've read,I certainly agree with the books she has chosen.
I would however,like to suggest that the plethora of excellent Irish books continues to grow unabated and there are many that have been published in the last 20 years that are excellent .
Some of my favorites are:
Galway Bay...Mary Kelly
The Great Shame..Keneally
The Fields of Athenray...Roy
Any novel by Patrick Taylor
A Star Called Henry...Doyle
Princes of Ireland...Rutherford
The Secret History of ther IRA...Moloney
The Green Flag...Lee
The Encyclopedia of Ireland...Lalor
Where does one stop;,there 's no end to the excellent Literature nor to the great Irish music.And all this from such a small country.No doubt ,no other country and culture even comes close to producing the amount of Literature and Music as does Ireland.
On my last visit to Ireland,I was blown away when I went into the Irish section of a large Dublin bookstore.There had to be thousands of titles ,where here in North America one is lucky to find a shelf of Irish books.
There are only two additional resources that I would recommend for anyone interested in the Irish struggle for independence.
The first is the novel Trinity and its sequel Redemption both by Leon Uris
Personally, I preferred Thomas Kinsella's translation The Tain: Translated from the Irish Tain Bo Cuailnge over The Raid: A Dramatic Retelling of Ireland's Epic Tale (Ulster Cycle) by Randy Lee Eickhoff, however, I do understand that the Kinsella version is no longer readily available for purchase.
I definitely recommend this book as a necessary resource to everyone who studies Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the Irish Diaspora.
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