Irish Literature

Literary Voices from the Emerald Isle


Poetry and Plays

Human Chain by Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney’s new collection elicits continuities and solidarities, between husband and wife, child and parent, then and now, inside an intently remembered present. Includes newly minted versions of anonymous early Irish lyrics, poems that stand at the crossroads of oral and written, and other “hermit songs” that weigh equally in their balance the craft of scribe and the poet’s early calling as scholar.
The Yeats Reader: A Portable Compendium of Poetry, Drama, and Prose
William Butler Yeats produced important works in every literary genre, works of astonishing range, energy, erudition, beauty, and skill. The Yeats Reader is the most comprehensive single volume presenting more than one hundred and fifty of his best-known poems, plus eight plays, a sampling of his prose tales, and excerpts from his published autobiographical and critical writings.
Collins Complete Works of Oscar Wilde
In print since 1948, this is a single-volume collection of Oscar Wilde's texts. It contains his only novel, "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" as well as his plays, stories, poems, essays and letters. Illustrated with many photographs, the book includes introductions to each section by Wilde's grandon, Merlin Holoand, Owen Dudley Edwards, Declan Kibertd and Terence Brown.


A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
Leaving behind his family in Dublin in order to join the Allied forces during World War I, eighteen-year-old Willie Dunne survives the horrors of war, but his return home is devastated by political tensions in Ireland.
The Banyan Tree by Christopher Nolan
Covering the eighty-plus years of the life of Minnie O’Brien, The Banyan Tree is a rich saga of rural Ireland in the twentieth century. While her three grown children have long since moved away, she is determined to keep her family’s farm from the tightening grip of her unscrupulous neighbor, in the hope that one day her youngest will return to claim what is rightfully his.
Brooklyn: A Novel by Colm Toibin
Leaving her home in post-World War II Ireland to work as a bookkeeper in Brooklyn, Eilis Lacey discovers a new romance in America with a charming blond Italian man before devastating news threatens her happiness.
The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien
Meet Kate and Baba, two young Irish country girls who have spent their childhood together. As they leave the safety of their convent school in search of life and love in the big city, they struggle to maintain their somewhat tumultuous relationship. Although they set out to conquer the world together, Kate and Baba must ultimately learn to find their own way.
Felicia's Journey by William Trevor
Felicia is unmarried, pregnant, and penniless. She steals away from a small Irish town and drifts through the industrial English Midlands, searching for the boyfriend who left her. Instead she meets up with the fat, fiftyish, unfailingly reasonable Mr. Hilditch, who is looking for a new friend to join the five other girls in his Memory Lane. But the strange, sad, terrifying tricks of chance unravel both his and Felicia's delusions.
The Gathering by Anne Enright
The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him - something that happened in their grandmother's house in the winter of 1968. As Enright traces the line of betrayal and redemption through three generations, she shows how memories warp and secrets fester.
In the Woods by Tana French
Three children do not return from the dark and silent wood of a small Dublin suburb. When the police arrive, they find only one child, gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours. Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, a detective on the Dublin Murder squad along with close friend and detective Cassie Maddox find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. 
Ireland: A Novel by Frank Delaney
In the winter of 1951, a storyteller arrives at the home of nine-year-old Ronan O'Mara in the Irish countryside. The last practitioner of an honored, centuries-old tradition, the "Seanchai" enthralls his assembled audience for three evenings until he is banished from the household for blasphemy and moves on. But these three incomparable nights have changed young Ronan forever, setting him on the course he will follow for years to come -- as he pursues the elusive, itinerant storyteller.
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
In 1974 Manhattan, a radical young Irish monk struggles with personal demons while making his home among Bronx prostitutes, a group of mothers shares grief over their lost Vietnam soldier sons, and a young grandmother attempts to prove her worth.
Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes
Lucy Sullivan is stuck in a humdrum life when she meets up with Gus, an adorable Irish musician, whose cheerful ramblings and drunken adventures sweep her off her feet. Things get even better when her best friend Daniel begins to date her roommate Karen. But soon it all unravels: Gus drifts away, and her parents' marriage comes to an abrupt end. Daniel stays steadfastly by her side as she realizes some uncomfortable truths about her life, but he could never replace Gus in her heart. . . or could he?
Paddy Clarke, ha-ha-ha by Roddy Doyle
an Irish lad named Paddy rampages through the streets of Barrytown with a pack of like-minded hooligans, playing cowboys and Indians, etching their names in wet concrete, and setting fires. Paddy Clarke and his friends are not bad boys; they're just a little bit restless. They're always taking sides, bullying each other, and secretly wishing they didn't have to. All they want is for something--anything--to happen.
The Sea by John Banville
Max Morden, a middle-aged Irishman who has gone back to the seaside town where he spent his summer holidays as a child to cope with the recent loss of his wife. It is also a return to the place where he met the Graces, the well-heeled family with whom he experienced the strange suddenness of both love and death for the first time.
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
Why does Skippy, a student at Dublin's venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop? Could it have something to do with his friend Ruprecht Van Doren, who is determined to open a portal into a parallel universe using ten-dimensional string theory? Or Carl, the teenage drug dealer who is Skippy's rival in love?
Winterwood by Pat McCabe
In Winterwood nothing - and no one - is ever quite what they seem. Patrick McCabe's twisted and mesmerizing tale about love gone wrong is filtered through the unreliable memory of Redmond Hatch. When Redmond returns to the mountain village of his youth, he meets Auld Pappie Ned, the local fiddler and keeper of tradition in this sleepy Irish town. Ned claims to be harmless, just a teller of tall tales. But in fact, neither Ned nor Redmond Hatch is as innocent as he seems.