Best of


The Barrytown Trilogy: The Commitments / The Snapper / The Van

Roddy Doyle - 1995
    Roddy Doyle's winning trio of comic novels depicting the daily life and times of the Rabbitte family in working-class Dublin.The CommitmentsStill one of the freshest and funniest rock 'n' roll novels ever written, Doyle's first book portrays a group of aspiring musicians on a mission: to bring soul to Dublin.The SnapperDoyle's sparkling second novel observes the progression of twenty-year-old Sharon's pregnancy and its impact on the Rabbitte family - especially on her father, Jimmy Sr - with with, candor, and surprising authenticity.The VanSet during the heady days of Ireland's brief, euphoric triumphs in the 1990 World Cup, this Booker Prize nominee is a tender and hilarious tale of male friendship, midlife crisis, and family life.--back cover

Nohow On: Company, Ill Seen Ill Said, Worstward Ho

Samuel Beckett - 1995
    In Company, a voice comes to "one on his back in the dark" and speaks to him. Ill Seen Ill Said focuses attention on an old woman in a cabin who is part of the objects, landscape, rhythms, and movements of an incomprehensible universe. And in Worstward Ho, Beckett explores a tentative, uncertain existence in a world devoid of rational meaning and purpose. Here is language pared down to its most expressive, confirming Beckett's position as one of the great writers of our time.

Finn Mac Cool

Morgan Llywelyn - 1995
    He had it all and lost it all, but in the end he gained immortality.Morgan Llywelyn, bestselling author of Lion of Ireland, has enthralled readers with magnificent tales of her native land. Now she has recreated Ireland's most amazing man in a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and awesome adventure."Powerful...Llywelyn has created a lusty, poetic and legendary world". - The New York Times Book Review on Red Branch

Inventing Ireland

Declan Kiberd - 1995
    In a book unprecedented in its scope and approach, Declan Kiberd offers a vivid account of the personalities and texts, English and Irish alike, that reinvented the country after centuries of colonialism. The result is a major literary history of modern Ireland, combining detailed and daring interpretations of literary masterpieces with assessments of the wider role of language, sport, clothing, politics, and philosophy in the Irish revival.In dazzling comparisons with the experience of other postcolonial peoples, the author makes many overdue connections. Rejecting the notion that artists such as Wilde, Shaw, Yeats, Joyce, and Beckett became modern to the extent that they made themselves "European," he contends that the Irish experience was a dramatic instance of experimental modernity and shows how the country's artists blazed a trail that led directly to the magic realism of a Garc a M rquez or a Rushdie. Along the way, he reveals the vital importance of Protestant values and the immense contributions of women to the enterprise. Kiberd's analysis of the culture is interwoven with sketches of the political background, bringing the course of modern Irish literature into sharp relief against a tragic history of conflict, stagnation, and change.Inventing Ireland restores to the Irish past a sense of openness that it once had and that has since been obscured by narrow-gauge nationalists and their polemical revisionist critics. In closing, Kiberd outlines an agenda for Irish Studies in the next century and detects the signs of a second renaissance in the work of a new generation of authors and playwrights, from Brian Friel to the younger Dublin writers.

Rebel Hearts: Journeys Within the IRA's Soul

Kevin Toolis - 1995
    His journeys took him from the back kitchens of Belfast, where men joked while making two-thousand-pound bombs, to prisons for interviews with men serving life sentences, and to the graveyards where mourners weep. Each chapter explores a world where history, faith, and human savagery determine life and death. At once moving and harrowing, Rebel Hearts is the most authoritative and insightful book ever written on the IRA.

The Troubles: Ireland's Ordeal 1966-1996 and the Search for Peace

Tim Pat Coogan - 1995
    He examines the reasons for -- and the snowballing reactions to -- the introduction of British forces to the streets of Derry and Belfast. Photos bring the events and personalities sharply into focus as he insightfully probes the spread of IRA violence to key locations in Britain, and the responses of the British government, its troops, and various Union organizations.In this new edition, Coogan discusses the continuing argument over weapons, the resumed IRA bombings in February 1996, and the significance of recent elections. Having gained the confidence of the combatants, he presents exclusive interviews and examines the prospects for peace."Coogan fills this book with quotes, personal reportage, and wry wit.... This title should be part of any history or current events collection". -- Library Journal Starred Review

A Goat's Song

Dermot Healy - 1995
    Annie Proulx) whose “melancholy beauty resonates with the deepest truths” (Boston Globe).

Maeve Binchy: Three Complete Books: The Lilac Bus; Firefly Summer; Silver Wedding

Maeve Binchy - 1995
    Now three of her finest, most memorable works have been brought together for the first time in an outstanding collection that shines with the luminescent storytelling that has earned the author international renown.THE LILAC BUSFeaturing two novellas, The Lilac Bus and Dublin 4, this national bestseller showcases Binchy's talents at their finest. In The Lilac Bus, Binchy masterfully and poignantly interweaves the lives and fates of eight very different individuals who travel from Dublin to the Irish country town of Rathdoon every Friday night in a lilac-colored minibus. In Dublin 4, a quartet of stories vividly portrays the quiet desperation and everyday heroism of ordinary people living ordinary lives in contemporary Ireland.FIREFLY SUMMERWhen American millionaire Patrick O'Neill comes to Mountfern in the fateful summer of 1962 to convert a dilapidated manor house into a luxury hotel, his intrusion turns life in the small Irish village upside down. The ensuing conflict between new money and old traditions, which strains families and friendships to the breaking point, is brilliantly explored in this truly unforgettable family drama that will live in your heart long after the last page is turned.SILVER WEDDINGGuilty secrets from the past and plaguing fears in the present surface when sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, and friends and lovers reunite to celebrate Desmond and Deirdre Doyle's twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Among the difficulties the Doyles must come to terms with: the daughter struggling to become a nun, the son who prefers the dreary farm in Ireland to life in London, and the enviable successes of their best man and bridesmaid.

The Vintage Book of Contemporary Irish Fiction

Dermot Bolger - 1995
    This collection of astonishing breadth reveals a literature of genuine global stature, as ancient as the Irish Sea. Contributors and stories include: John Banville, from Mefisto; Leland Bardwell, "The Hairdresser"; Sebastian Barry, from The Engine of Owl-Light; Mary Beckett, "Heaven"; Samuel Beckett, "For to End Yet Again"; Sara Berkeley, "The Sky's Gone Out"; Dermot Bolger, "The Journey Home"; Claire Boylan, "Villa Marta"; Shane Connaughton, "Ojus"; Mary Dorcey, "The Husband"; Roddy Doyle, from The Snapper; Anne Enright, "Men and Angels"; Hugo Hamilton, from Surrogate City; Dermot Healy, "The Death of Matti Bonner"; Aidan Higgins, from Balcony of Europe; Desmond Hogan, from A Curious Street; Jennifer Johnston, from The Christmas Tree; Neil Jordan, "Last Rights"; Molly Kean, Patrick McCabe, from The Butcher Boy; Brian Moore, "The Sight"; Edna O'Brien, "What a Sky"; William Trevor, "The Ballroom of Romance"; Val Mulkerns, "Memory and Desire"; Robert McLiam Wilson, from Ripley Bogle, and many more.

Irish Gold

Andrew M. Greeley - 1995
    Greeley outdoes his previous triumphs with Irish Gold, a contemporary, fresh and exciting novel of suspense and love. Nuala Anne McGrail, a student at Dublin's Trinity College, is beautiful the way a Celtic goddess is beautiful - not that Dermot Michael Coyne of Chicago has ever seen one of those in his twenty-five years - unless you count his grandmother Nell, who left Ireland during the Troubles with her husband Liam O'Riada, and who would never tell why they left. Somebody else remembers, though - or why is Dermot set upon by thugs?

Pope Patrick

Peter de Rosa - 1995
    America has its first Catholic president since Kennedy. The planet's other superpower is the Federation of Islamic Republics, stretching from Morocco to Pakistan. And in Rome, the aging Polish Pope, obstinate and combative to the end, has died, and the conclave of cardinals must choose a successor. After a great deal of argument and debate, they choose the least controversial and least political candidate, the one least likely to upset the Vatican status quo - Brian O'Flynn, a kindly old Irish priest who reads Yeats and publishes obscure academic theses. At the moment of his election, a three-hundred-pound ornamental pillar falls on his head. Then all hell breaks loose. Pope Patrick is the riotous story of a mild-mannered country cardinal who - through a democratic election, a twist of fate, and a little help from his golden Lab, Charley - turns the Vatican upside down and throws the industrial world into chaos. He deals once and for all with the thorny issues of contraception, the celibacy of the clergy, and the infallibility of the Pope; sends the Dow Jones tumbling and the hopes of the downtrodden soaring - and in the process brings the world to the brink of catastrophe.

A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany

Aubrey Burl - 1995
    This new edition includes a section on “Druidical” circles, romantic creations of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Joyce, Race, and Empire

Vincent John Cheng - 1995
    Arguing that Joyce wrote insistently from the perspective of a colonial subject of an oppressive empire, this study demonstrates how his texts constitute a significant political commentary on British imperialism in Ireland, as well as on colonial discourses and ideologies in general.

The Berlin Wall Café

Paul Durcan - 1995
    In the first part are poems of great satirical comedy and also of great passion and indignation, and in the second part, poems about the break-up of a marriage so intense they would hurt if they weren't also possessed of the healing gifts of truthfulness and humour. In The Berlin Wall Caf� Durcan has located that space between the walls and barriers societies and individuals erect - a no-man's-land of the free imagination where we meet as the vulnerable and comical human beings we are. It contains some of his very best work.

Cycle of Violence

Colin Bateman - 1995
    The town harbors secrets more sordid than the locals' resumes of political "activism", and Miller, embroiled in a troubled romance, finds himself playing inquisitive reporter in this notoriously fatal place to ask questions.

Collins Gem Irish Dictionary

Séamus Mac Mathúna - 1995
    Contains: over 60,000 translations; full treatment of all the essential vocabulary of Irish and English; guide to Irish grammar; attractive, user-friendly layout.

Collected Poems

Eavan Boland - 1995
    The enormous talent of celebrated Irish Padraic Fallon is demonstrated in this volume, which includes early poems (1930-1945), poems of maturity (1946-1959), late poems (1960-1974), and poems from plays, translations, and versions of Homeric Hymns and Ballads.

Hunter of the Light

Risa Aratyr - 1995
    Unless it dies by sacred spear before sunrise of Bealtaine Day, when the wheel of the world turns over, the balance between Light and Dark, and thus all hope of magic, will be lost.And once lost, gone forever.Every ninth year must Eirinn choose a champion. This year it is the bard, Blackthorn, more at ease with a verse than a spear, who will stalk the dream-stag through lough and fen. And a dream-love awaits the bard as well: the beautiful and doomed Roisin Dubh, whose touch will sear his heart with strange new fire.

Matilda's England

William Trevor - 1995
    Set before, during and after World War II, they form a biography of Matilda, third child of a farmer and his wife. She grows up in the shadow of Challacombe, which, in the end, dominates her life and dictates her fate, and represents much more.

The Autobiography of Maud Gonne: A Servant of the Queen

Maud Gonne - 1995
    Still remembered in Ireland for the inspiring public speeches she made on behalf of the suffering—those evicted from their homes in western Ireland, the Treason-Felony prisoners on the Isle of Wright, indeed all those whom she saw as victims of imperialism—she is known, too, within and outside Ireland as the woman W. B. Yeats loved and celebrated in his poems.

An Irish Country Christmas

Alice Taylor - 1995
    Eighteen stories conveying the delight that lies in every detail of the festive season for a young child.

Newgrange: Archaeology, Art and Legend

Michael J. O'Kelly - 1995
    This is an account of that structure.

Irish Superstitions

Dáithí Ó hÓgáin - 1995
    Here is a list of good-luck charms, spells, soothsayings and other irrational but charming and creative folk beliefs. Here we have leprechauns and sprites, ghosts, the evil eye and wise women's curses. There are charms and spells to make the crops grow, to keep cattle healthy, to ensure safe childbirth, and many other longed-for desires. Most superstitions are of pagan origin; many were overlaid with popular Christian belief.

Early Medieval Ireland 400-1200

Dáibhí Ó Cróinín - 1995
    Within a broad political framework it explores the nature of Irish society, the spiritual and secular roles of the Church and the extraordinary flowering of Irish culture in the period. Other major themes are Ireland's relations with Britain and continental Europe, and Vikings and their influence, the beginnings of Irish feudalism, and the impact of the Viking and Norman invaders. Splendid in sweep and lively in detail, it launches the newLongman History of Ireland in fine style.

Heathcliff and the Great Hunger: Studies in Irish Culture

Terry Eagleton - 1995
    Heathcliff and the Great Hunger examines Irish culture from Swift to Joyce, in the light of the tortuous, often tragic, history that conditioned it.

Legendary Ireland

Peter Somerville-Large - 1995
    Kelly's exquisite color photographs reveal a modern Irish landscape filled with magical echoes of history and ancient legends.