Photo by Taylor Wright
Whether you’re still hungover from St Patrick’s Day or you’re planning a future getaway to the Emerald Isle, a longing for Ireland can easily be cured with a generous dose of Irish literature. Maybe I’m biased as a part-Irish person, but Ireland (both North and Republic of) have some of the best English-language literature to offer. From Wilde to Yeats and Friel, prose to poetry to plays, extraordinary stories have come from every crevice of Ireland, and why not celebrate St Patrick’s Day by enjoying some? Icons to up and coming talent, here is a rundown of everything this beautiful country boasts.
Perhaps the most famous Irish novel, The Picture of Dorian Grey is one of the most poignant, disturbing and lyrical novels to come from Ireland. A Victorian novel that created a sensation, Oscar Wilde’s only novel shakes ideas of Ireland as a land of fields, potatoes and Guinness to their core! This gothic tale includes pretentious young socialites, themes of greed and vanity, and an aging portrait…
The Young Adult:
The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle is an incredible, unsettling read unlike any other. The novel follows one family who fall victim to a curse every October, and each year it is unknown who will make it through to November untainted. Seasoned with magic and hints of the supernatural, Fowley-Doyle is a true artist when it comes to painting sinister and enchanting settings. This is the kind of book to tuck into on a chillier evening when you can revel in its autumnal suspense.
It’s been 6 years since Louise O’Neill’s debut novel Only Ever Yours was published, and yet it is rare that a week goes by without it wandering into my mind and sending chills down the spine. No, this isn’t set in Ireland (to be honest we don’t know where this is) but O’Neill’s novel is like a knife cutting through the recent problems that Ireland has had such as anti-abortion laws and the mother and baby homes that have appeared on the news over recent decades. Often compared to The Handmaid’s Tale this novel is an astonishing take on what could happen in the future if we do not progress further towards gender equality. I can’t say anything more about the book without spoiling it, but just please read it! This is a book that will never leave you.