St. Patrick’s Week: 12 Irish Writers You Should Read


By Niall McArdle To celebrate St. Patrick’s Week, I offer here a selection of contemporary Irish writers worth checking out. Click on the photos to see their works.

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William Trevor

William Trevor. Not for nothing is Trevor hailed as perhaps the finest living writer in English.

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John Banville

John Banville. When not writing dense, abstruse, philosophical prose, his alter-ego Benjamin Black is writing dense, atmospheric crime thrillers set in 1950s Dublin … and most recently, a new Philip Marlowe novel, The Black-Eyed Blonde. Winner of the Booker Prize and the Kafka Prize: mark my words, he’ll win the Nobel Prize eventually.

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Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy. Ireland’s favourite writer and Dalkey’s favourite resident; sadly gone from us now. Finnegan’s pub in Dalkey – her favourite haunt – has a delightful tribute to her.

Chris-Binchy
Chris Binchy

Chris Binchy. Maeve’s nephew: He has charted Ireland’s boom and bust, beginning with his debut in 2003 with The Very Man.

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Colum McCann

Colum McCann. New York based author of Let the Great World Spin and Transatlantic

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Colm Toibin

Colm Toibin. He is such a devoted fan of Henry James, he wrote a whole novel, The Master, in honour of him. Nominated for last year’s Booker for The Testament of Mary (later a controversial play)

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Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue. The award-winning author of international bestseller Room. Based in Canada.

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Anne Enright

Anne Enright. Man Booker winner for The Gathering

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John Connolly

John Connolly. Although based in Dublin, his Charlie Parker mysteries are set in Maine; he is as good a literary chronicler of that state’s backwaters as Stephen King or John Irving

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Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry. Winner of the IMPAC prize for his surreal take on rural Ireland

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Nuala Ní Chonchúir

Nuala Ní Chonchúir. Immensely talented and prolific short story writer, novelist and poet.

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Monica McInerney

Monica McInerney. The Australian novelist has lived in Ireland for so long now that we’ve adopted her.

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6 thoughts on “St. Patrick’s Week: 12 Irish Writers You Should Read

  1. I have to confess that I have only read Maeve Binchy, from those on your list. I also like Brendan Behan, Oscar Wilde, and many other fine Irish writers though.
    I reckon it is the bad weather Niall, stops them getting out much, so they write more!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Like

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