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A History of Irish Working-Class Writing
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Book description

A History of Irish Working-Class Writing provides a wide-ranging and authoritative chronicle of the writing of Irish working-class experience. Ground-breaking in scholarship and comprehensive in scope, it is a major intervention in Irish Studies scholarship, charting representations of Irish working-class life from eighteenth-century rhymes and songs to the novels, plays and poetry of working-class experience in contemporary Ireland. There are few narrative accounts of Irish radicalism, and even fewer that engage 'history from below'. This book provides original insights in these relatively untilled fields. Exploring workers' experiences in various literary forms, from early to late capitalism, the twenty-two chapters make this book an authoritative and substantial contribution to Irish studies and English literary studies generally.

Reviews

'Pierse’s colossal undertaking restores a lot of these voices and narratives to their rightful context within Ireland’s literature.'

Dermot Bolger Source: The Irish Times

'[A] labyrinthine compendium of essays … this book provocatively attacks the silence of the establishment while proclaiming that practitioners of the genre make do, hopefully survive, and work on. Working-class writers of the world, unite!'

Kevin Kiely Source: Books Ireland

'Capitalising on recent examples of historiography, labour, social and political history and the relationships between Irish Studies and class, this innovative and pioneering volume establishes new areas of scholarly debate that will inform research for decades to come. … The debates present are original, well-conceived and, as Kiberd notes in the 'Foreword', '[t]hey will set many of the terms of cultural debate in the decades to come. And they could hardly be more timely.'

Robert Finnigan Source: Irish Studies Review

'Michael Pierse has done a great service to Irish studies in editing this first comprehensive examination of Irish working-class writing. A real joy of reading this volume is the nuanced and stimulating social analyses alongside literary readings, showing how reading outside the national framework opens up striking new ways of reading the fabric of the nation itself.'

Muireann Leech Source: Biography

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