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Irish Writers




Gulliver's Travels: By Jonathan Swift


Gulliver’s Travels, or Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, consists of four parts and was initially published in 1726. It satirizes both human nature and the "travellers tales " sub-genre. It is Swift's best known full-length work, and a classic of English literature. Swift claimed that he wrote Gulliver's Travels “to vex the world rather than divert it". The book was an immediate success. John Gay remarked "It is universally read, from the cabinet council to the nursery.”


Ulysses: By James Joyce


One of the most important works of the Modernist era, James Joyce’s “Ulysses” was originally published serially in the American journal “The Little Review” from March 1918 to December 1920. Subsequently published as a book in 1922, “Ulysses” chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. While the novel appears largely unstructured at first glance it is in fact very closely paralleled to Homer’s “Odyssey”, containing eighteen episodes that correspond to various parts of Homer’s work. Errors within the text have resulted in multiple publications of revised editions over the course of the 20th-century. These efforts at revision however are not universally accepted as beneficial with some critics pointing to the original 1922 edition, from which this edition is drawn, as the most accurate of all editions. Filled with experimental forms of prose, stream of consciousness, puns, parodies, and allusions that Joyce himself hoped would “keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant,” this expansive work is considered one of the great works of English literature and a must read for fans of the Modernist genre.


Beautiful World, Where Are You: By Sally Rooney


Alice, a novelist, meets Felix, who works in a warehouse, and asks him if he’d like to travel to Rome with her. In Dublin, her best friend, Eileen, is getting over a breakup, and slips back into flirting with Simon, a man she has known since childhood.


Alice, Felix, Eileen, and Simon are still young―but life is catching up with them. They desire each other, they delude each other, they get together, they break apart. They have sex, they worry about sex, they worry about their friendships and the world they live in. Are they standing in the last lighted room before the darkness, bearing witness to something? Will they find a way to believe in a beautiful world?


In The Woods: By Tana French

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.


Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.


Richly atmospheric and stunning in its complexity, In the Woods is utterly convincing and surprising to the end.

The Picture of Dorian: By Oscar Wilde


The Picture of Dorian Gray was first published in 1890 in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. Fearing the story was indecent, the magazine’s editor had deleted hundreds of words without Wilde’s knowledge. Even so, the book still offended the moral sensibilities of British book reviewers. The novel was later released in a longer, revised version of 20 chapters. Dorian Gray is the subject of a full-length portrait in oil by an artist impressed and infatuated by Dorian’s beauty. Realizing that his beauty will fade, Dorian sells his soul to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a wild life of varied amoral experiences while staying young and beautiful; all the while, his portrait ages and records every sin.

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