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The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories
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The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  109 ratings  ·  10 reviews
What began simply in Ireland as entertainment and communication through the spoken word soon grew into an extraordinary literary form unmatched in any other country. The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories triumphantly demonstrates the development of the short story in Ireland--from the early folk tales of the oral tradition (here translated from the Irish) to the writing o ...more
Paperback, 592 pages
Published March 7th 2002 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1989)
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Best Irish Literature
152nd out of 430 books — 497 voters
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This collection of short stories is outstanding, forty-six works arranged chronologically beginning with half a dozen folk tales, a story by Oliver Goldsmith, and concluding with a work by Desmond Hogan. I was familiar with some of the authors, although most were new to me, and I had previously read only one of the works, “The Dead” by James Joyce. The works are so various that is it hard to identify a common theme or style. However, most end poignantly and haunt the reader long after the story ...more
Bruce Reiter
Okay. I am studying for a personal relationship with the literature of Ireland. This is an anthology of Irish literature from way back to its publication in 1989. I am disappointed. Irish short stories are for the most part long stories. The descriptions are close-in and rich. Several poked a little fun about the English. Many I assume were written by Englishmen posing as Irish. Only one story looked at the killing of Enlish soldiers in retaliation for the deaths of Irish rebels. I am trying to ...more
Parrish Lantern
In the introduction to this fantastic collection of short stories from Ireland, William Trevor states that “The Modern short story may be defined as the distillation of an essence. It may be laid down that it has to have a point, that it must be going somewhere, that it dare not be vague.” He then goes on to say that art has its own way of defying both definitions and rules and that neither offer much help when examining the short stories of his homeland. Born in Mitchels-town, County Cork in 19 ...more
William Trevor's choiches are a superb walk through 4 centuries of Irish short story telling.
Donna Maroulis
I enjoyed this collection of stories for the glimpse of mostly an earlier time in Ireland. The language, everyday life, social mores, but especially the all pervasive grip of the church in all their affairs was illuminating. It helps someone raised in a country where church and state are separate to understand how narrow minded one could become when no outside views are allowed. Where the church's views are thrashed into you daily and hatred for " other " is ingrained from early on.
Not a series of happy stories, and some are hardly stories at all but musings of a character without a plot. I think the editor, depending on his aim, ended the book with a poor selection because it is one of those pieces without a solid conclusion.

That being said, I loved this collection. There are quite a few stories that I hope to stumble upon again and again because of the loveliness of their language and the quality of plot.
The stories in this anthology were heartbreaking. Life in Ireland was/is hard and the people were/are harder! Well, not all the stories were dark but many were. There were some well-known authors but also some I'd never heard of but really enjoyed. Recommended for short story lovers.
A. Mary
Trevor selected thirty-nine stories and seven traditional tales. Storytelling is one of the three great gifts of the Irish, and this collection shows that, starting with Oliver Goldsmith and ending with Desmond Hogan.
Enjoying this book so far although I wish there were editorial essays setting the authors and stories in historical context.
De très bonnes histoires qui touchent à tous les genres !
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William Trevor, KBE grew up in various provincial towns and attended a number of schools, graduating from Trinity College, in Dublin, with a degree in history. He first exercised his artistry as a sculptor, working as a teacher in Northern Ireland and then emigrated to England in search of work when the school went bankrupt. He could have returned to Ireland once he became a successful writer, he ...more
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