Have trouble viewing this newsletter?  View online

Naperville Public Library

Home | Catalog | Contact Us | Subscribe to NextReads

Find a good read: Adult | Teens  | Kids

Irish Eyes are Writin'
"Books, the children of the brain" - Jonathan Swift, from The Tale of the Tub and Other Writings

Ireland, considering its size, has produced a disproportionately large amount of world-renowned writers.  Take some time to read some of these Irish-American writers and their works.
Waiting for Godot : Tragicomedy in 2 Acts - Samuel Beckett - Born Dublin, Ireland
Publisher: Grove Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/26/2008
Share Waiting for Godot %3a  Tragicomedy in 2 Acts ISBN-13: 9781439500385
ISBN-10: 143950038X
As Vladimir and Estragon await the arrival of Godot, they discuss their lives and consider hanging themselves, but choose to wait for Godot instead, in the hope that he can tell them what their purpose is.
In a much-quoted article, the theatre critic Vivian Mercier wrote that Beckett "has achieved a theoretical impossibility—a play in which nothing happens, that yet keeps audiences glued to their seats. What's more, since the second act is a subtly different reprise of the first, he has written a play in which nothing happens, twice."
Gamal : A Novel - Ciarán Collins - Born Cork County, Ireland
Publisher: St Martins Pr
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 07/23/2013
Share Gamal %3a  A Novel ISBN-13: 9781608198757
ISBN-10: 1608198758
Evincing a persona of simple innocence that hides his true nature as the Gamal, Charlie evaluates his life in the dark heart of an Irish village, his friendships with two people and a terrible night when an unspeakable event challenged their beliefs about love, denial and daring to be different.
Mr. Collins grew up in the village of Innishannon in Cork and now lives in Kinsale; He is working on his second novel. 
Shannon : A Novel - Frank Delaney - Born Tipperary, Ireland
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/10/2009
Share Shannon %3a  A Novel ISBN-13: 9781400065257
ISBN-10: 1400065259
In the summer of 1922, a young American priest named Robert Shannon arrives in Ireland, the land of his ancestors, in search of his soul and demoralized by the corruption he encountered in the Boston Archdiocese, and as a civil war rages, Ireland's myths, traditions, and humor take him deep into the country's complicated heart, challenging and changing him forevermore.
Delaney writes charming, gripping, and lyrically written historical fiction set in his native Ireland. While his stories are grounded in the tumultuous times of 20th-century Ireland suffering from IRA attacks, rampant poverty, and World War II, his wistful and whimsical novels are infused with the life, history, and folklore of ages past.
Room : A Novel - Emma Donoghue - Born Dublin, Ireland
Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/13/2010
Share Room %3a  A Novel ISBN-13: 9780316098335
ISBN-10: 0316098337
A 5-year-old narrates a riveting story about his life growing up in a single room where his mother aims to protect him from the man who has held her prisoner for seven years since she was a teenager. 
An international bestseller, Room, was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prize, and won the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year.
Barrytown Trilogy : The Commitments/The Snapper/The Van - Roddy Doyle - Born Dublin, Ireland
Publisher: Penguin Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/01/1995
Share Barrytown Trilogy %3a  The Commitments/The Snapper/The Van ISBN-13: 9780140252620
ISBN-10: 0140252622
Together in one volume, this book contains Roddy Doyle's trilogy about the Rabbitte family of Barrytown, north Dublin. "The Commitments", "The Snapper" and "The Van", which was shortlisted for the 1991 Booker Prize.
Doyle's work is set primarily in Ireland, especially working-class Dublin and is notable for its heavy use of dialogue written in slang and Irish English dialect.
Dubliners - James Joyce - Born Dublin, Ireland
Publisher: Modern Library
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/01/1993
Share Dubliners ISBN-13: 9780679600497
ISBN-10: 0679600493
Dubliners was completed in 1905, but a series of British and Irish publishers and printers found it offensive and immoral, and it was suppressed. The book finally came out in London in 1914, just as Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man began to appear in the journal "Egoist" under the auspices of Ezra Pound.
This is one of the greatest story collections in the English language--an unflinching, brilliant, often tragic portrait of early twentieth-century Dublin. The book, which begins and ends with a death, moves from "stories of my childhood" through tales of public life. Its larger purpose, Joyce said, was as a moral history of Ireland.
Ellis Island - Kate Kerrigan - Born Killala, Ireland
Publisher: Harper
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 06/28/2011
Share Ellis Island ISBN-13: 9780062071538
ISBN-10: 006207153X
Sweethearts since childhood, Ellie Hogan and her husband, John, are content on their farm in Ireland until John, a soldier for the Irish Republican Army, receives an injury that leaves him unable to work. Forced to take drastic measures in order to survive, Ellie does what so many Irish women in the 1920s have done and sails across a vast ocean to New York City to work as a maid for a wealthy socialite.
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe - C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis - Born Belfast, Ireland
Publisher: HarperCollins
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/01/1994
Share The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe ISBN-13: 9780060234829
ISBN-10: 0060234822
Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magical land of Narnia, where they come to the aid of Aslan, the golden lion, in his battle against the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.
C.S. Lewis is best known for this series, but he also wrote fantasy, science fiction, and nonfiction for adults. Most of his stories reflect his combined interests in theology (especially his own Christian faith), human nature, ethics, and myth. Much of his fiction is allegorical, reflecting his deep belief in God.
Amongst Women - John McGahern - Born Knockanroe, County Leitrim, Ireland
Publisher: Viking
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/01/1990
Share Amongst Women ISBN-13: 9780670811823
ISBN-10: 0670811823
An aging former guerrilla leader in the Irish War of Independence tries to understand his relationships with the women--especially his young, flirtatious second wife and his three daughters.
McGahern is also considered a master of the Irish tradition of the short story.  His work has influenced a younger generation of writers, such as Colm Tóibín.  
Saints and Sinners : Stories - Edna O'Brien - Born Tuamgraney, County Clare, Ireland
Publisher: Back Bay Books/Little, Brown and Co.
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 05/09/2011
Share Saints and Sinners %3a  Stories ISBN-13: 9780316122726
ISBN-10: 0316122726
This collection of short stories depicts vivid tales of restless, searching people set in Dublin, London and New York. 
In "Send My Roots Rain," Miss Gilhooley, a librarian, waits in the lobby of a posh Dublin hotel expecting to meet a celebrated poet while reflecting on the great love who disappointed her. The Irish workers of "The Shovel Kings" have pipe dreams of becoming millionaires in London, but long for their quickly changing homeland-exiles in both places. "Green Georgette" is a searing anatomy of class, through the eyes of a little girl; "Old Wounds" illuminates the importance of family and memory in old age. In language that is always bold and vital, Edna O'Brien pays tribute to the universal forces that rule our lives.
O'Brien is Irish by birth, although she has also lived in London, and her love affair with Ireland informs much of her writing in setting, plot, and characters. She is also known as one of the great writers of the 20th century female experience; relating women's lives with unflinching honesty and truth.
Third Policeman : A Novel - Flann O'Brien - Born Strabane, Ireland
Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/01/1999
Share Third Policeman %3a  A Novel ISBN-13: 9781564782144
ISBN-10: 156478214X
Probably O'Brien's most popular and surrealistic novel, The Third Policeman concerns an imaginary, hellish village police force and a local murder. Weird, satirical, and very funny, its popularity has suddenly increased after the novel was featured in an episode of the hit television series "Lost".
Ghost Light - Joseph O'Connor - Born Dublin, Ireland
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/01/2011
Share Ghost Light ISBN-13: 9780374161873
ISBN-10: 0374161879
A turbulent love story loosely based on the relationship between Irish playwright John Synge and actress Molly Allgood. The story opens in post-WWII London, where Molly is a spinster with a fondness for drink, but through a series of reminiscences the reader learns that, in her youth, she was a promising actress out of the poorer quarters of Dublin. Working in a theater group that included her more talented older sister and W.B. Yeats, Molly soon develops an attraction to the significantly older playwright Synge. She is pugnacious and ambitious, he circumspect and introverted, but the two secretly fall in with one another, and over the course of years they struggle with the differences in their age, class, and religion, and with their respective temperaments and expectations.
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift - Born Dublin, Ireland
Publisher: Knopf
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/01/1991
Share Gulliver ISBN-13: 9780679405450
ISBN-10: 0679405453
Gullible ship's doctor Lemuel Gulliver experiences extraordinary travels, in which he goes through a series of apparently child-like fantasy worlds of tiny people and giants, floating islands and talking horses.  Gulliver's Travels is a satrire on the political and moral condition of man by Eighteenth century Irish writer and clergyman, Jonathan Swift.
The causes of Gulliver's misadventures become more malignant as time goes on—he is first shipwrecked, then abandoned, then attacked by strangers, then attacked by his own crew.  Gulliver's attitude hardens as the book progresses—and there are subtle shifts throughout the book of Gulliver's perception of humans.
Empty Family - Colm Tóibín - Born Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, Ireland
Publisher: Scribner
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/04/2011
Share Empty Family ISBN-13: 9781439138328
ISBN-10: 143913832X
Colm Tóibín exquisitely written new stories, set in present-day Ireland, 1970s Spain and nineteenth century England, are about people linked by love, loneliness and desire. Tóibín is a master at portraying mute emotion, intense intimacies that remain unacknowledged or unspoken. His characters are often difficult and combative, compelled to disguise their vulnerability and longings, yet he unmasks them, and in doing so offers us a set of extraordinarily moving stories that remind us of the fragility and individuality of human life.
Story of Lucy Gault - William Trevor - Born Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland
Publisher: Viking
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/01/2002
Share Story of Lucy Gault ISBN-13: 9780670031542
ISBN-10: 0670031542
A novel set in Ireland in the 1920s charts the progress of a young girl whose entire life seems to be falling apart when the threat of arson drives the family from their country home.
Lucy Gault grows up a Protestant in a Catholic part of Ireland in the 1920s. An only child, she enjoys an intimate relationship with her parents and is devoted to her family's lavish country home, the nearby beach and woods, and the house staff. When Lucy's parents decide to flee the persecution of arsonists and move to England, her life takes an unforeseen turn. Tragedy and heartbreak will haunt the Gault family, and their lives do not proceed as expected. As in his earlier works Trevor's spare prose captures the quirky workings of the heart, and compassion for the human condition mitigates the harsh blows that fate often deals his characters.
Complete Short Stories - Oscar Wilde - Born Dublin, Ireland
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/18/2010
Share Complete Short Stories ISBN-13: 9780199535064
ISBN-10: 019953506X
Oscar Wilde was already famous as a brilliant wit and raconteur when he first began to publish his short stories in the late 1880s. Admired by George Orwell and W. B. Yeats, the stories include poignant fairy-tales such as "The Happy Prince" and "The Selfish Giant," the extravagant comedy of "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime" and "The Canterville Ghost," and the daring narrative experiments of "The Portrait of Mr. W. H.," Wilde's fictional investigation into the identity of the dedicatee of Shakespeare's sonnets. 

An introduction by John Sloan argues for Wilde's originality and literary achievement as a short-story writer, emphasizing his literary skill and sophistication.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
If you are having trouble unsubscribing to this newsletter, please contact the Naperville Public Library at
630-961-4100, 200 West Jefferson Ave, Naperville, IL 60540

© 2014 EBSCO Information Services, Powered by The Title Source TM