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Irish Fiction

From Ulysses to Dubliners, from Star Of the Sea, The to Down By the River, we can help you find the irish fiction books you are looking for. As the world's largest independent marketplace for new, used and rare books, you always get the best in service and value when you buy from, and all of your purchases are backed by our return guarantee.

Top Sellers in Irish Fiction

    Ulysses by James Joyce

    Ulysses is a modernist novel by James Joyce. It was first serialized in The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920 and later published by Shakespeare and Company in 1922. Originally, Joyce conceived of Ulysses as a short story to be included in Dubliners, but decided instead to publish it as a long novel, situated as a sort of sequel to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, picking up Stephen Dedalus’s life over a year later. Ulysses takes place on a single day, June 16, 1904, in Dublin. Within the massive text of 265,000 words (not so “short” anymore, eh?), divided in 18 episodes, Joyce radically shifts narrative style with each new episode, completely abandoning the previously accepted notions of plot, setting, and characters. The presentation of a fragmented reality through interior perception in Ulysses, often through stream-of-consciousness, is one of many reasons it is a paramount of Modernist literature.  Ulysses presents a series of parellels with Homer’s epic poem Odyssey (Ulysses is the Latinized name of Odysseus.) Not only can correspondences be drawn between the main characters of each text — Stephen Dedalus to Telemachus, Leopold Bloom to Odysseus, and Molly Bloom to Penelope, but each of the 18 episodes of Ulysses reflects an adventure from the Odyssey.  In 1998, the American publishing firm Modern Library ranked Ulysses first on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

    Dracula by Bram Stoker

    Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, featuring as its primary antagonist the vampire Count Dracula. Dracula has been attributed to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. Structurally it is an epistolary novel, that is, told as a series of diary entries and letters.

    Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

    Finnegans Wake is a work of comic fiction by Irish author James Joyce, significant for an experimental style and its resulting reputation as one of the most difficult works of fiction in the English language. Written in Paris over a period of 17 years, and published in 1939, two years before the author's death, Finnegans Wake was Joyce's final work. -

    A Portrait Of the Artist As a Young Man by James Joyce

    Joyce's A Portait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical work. It tells of the intellectual, religious, and philosophical awakening of the main character, Stephen Dedalus as he rebels against the conventions in which he has been raised and leaves home to pursue his artistic ambition.

    The Sea by John Banville

    John Banville is an Irish novelist and screenwriter born in 1945. He sometimes writes under the pseudonym Benjamin Black. His eighteenth novel, The Sea, won the Man Booker Prize in 2005. Banville is known for the dark humor of his arch narrators and his cold, inventive prose style. In this novel, Banville's main character is Max Morden, an art historian, who has recently suffered the demise of his beloved wife Anna. It is a journey back down the earliest roadways and alleys of Max's memory. Intertwined within this story are Max’s memories of his wife, Anna and of their life together; his relationship with his grown daughter, Claire, who is desperate to pull him from his grief; and with the other boarders at the house where he is staying, where the past beats inside him “like a second heart.” John Banville, famous for his poetic language, now gives us a uniquely reflective novel about loss, love and the transfiguring power of memory.  

    The Ginger Man by J P Donleavy

    Feckless, unwashed, charming, penurious Sebastian Balfe Dangerfield, Trinity College Law student, Irish American with an English Accent, maroon in the ould country and dreaming of dollars and ready women, stumbles from the public house to the pawnbrokers, murmuring delusive enticements in the ear of any girl who'll listen, in delirious search of freedom, wealth, and the recognition he feels is his due. Lyrical and ribald, illuminating, poignant and hugely entertaining, The Ginger Man is a work of authentic comic genius.

    The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien

    The Third Policeman is a novel by Irish author Brian O'Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O'Brien. It was written between 1939 and 1940, but after it initially failed to find a publisher, the author withdrew the manuscript from circulation and claimed he had lost it. At the time of his death in 1966, the book was still unpublished. It was finally published in 1967 by McGibbon & Kee.

    Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan

    Borstal Boy is an autobiographical 1958 book by Brendan Behan. The story depicts a young, fervently idealistic Behan who loses his naivete over the three years of his sentence, softening his radical stance and warming to the other prisoners. From a technical standpoint, the novel is chiefly notable for the art with which it captures the lively dialogue of the Borstal inmates, with all the variety of the British Isles' many subtly distinctive accents intact on the page.

    The Gathering by Anne Enright

    Anne Enright is a 2007 Booker Prize-winning Irish author. She has written essays, short-stories, non-fiction and novels. This story, The Gathering, is the narrative voice of Veronica, who is one of twelve grown-up children in the Hegarty family; it discusses the apparent suicide of her younger brother Liam, and the effect it has on her and the family. The novel is a strong and poignant portrayal of loss and alienation. Enright captures the peculiar relationship of these close siblings perfectly.  

    The Woman Who Walked Into Doors by Roddy Doyle

    Paula Spencer is a thirty-nine-year-old working-class woman struggling to reclaim her dignity after marriage to an abusive husband and a worsening drinking problem. Paula recalls her contented childhood, the audacity she learned as a teenager, the exhilaration of her romance with Charlo, and the marriage to him that left her feeling powerless. Capturing both her vulnerability and her strength, Roddy Doyle gives Paula a voice that is real and unforgettable.

    The Informer by Liam O'Flaherty

    A tale of temptation, betrayal, and reprisal, this powerful novel is set in the aftermath of the Irish Civil War. It tells of Gypo Nolan, who informs on a wanted comrade. The source of the Academy Award-winning film directed by John Ford. Preface by Denis Donoghue.

    Stephen Hero by James Joyce

    Stephen Hero is a posthumously-published autobiographical novel by Irish author James Joyce. Its published form reflects only a portion of an original manuscript, part of which was lost. Many of its ideas were used in composing A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

    Felicia's Journey by William Trevor

    Felicia is unmarried, pregnant, and penniless. She steals away from a small Irish town and drifts through the industrial English Midlands, searching for the boyfriend who left her. Instead she meets up with the fat, fiftyish, unfailingly reasonable Mr. Hilditch, who is looking for a new friend to join the five other girls in his Memory Lane. But the strange, sad, terrifying tricks of chance unravel both his and Felicia's delusions in a story that will magnetize fans of Alfred Hitchcock and Ruth Rendell even as it resonates with William Trevor's own "impeccable strength and piercing profundity" ( The Washington Post Book World ).

    The South by Colm Toibin

    Set in the 1950s, this is the story of Katherine Proctor who "flees husband, child and County Wexford (Ireland) for Spain. She, a Catalan lover, and another Irish emigre, painters all, fashion new worlds in their work while fighting past worlds in their lives." ( Library Journal )

    Paddy Clarke, Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

    Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (1993) is a novel by Irish writer Roddy Doyle. It won the Booker Prize in 1993. The story is about a 10 year old boy and events that happen within his age group. He also has to cope with his parents' deteriorating relationship. The novel is known for its interesting use of language – Doyle uses a register that gives the reader the vivid impression of listening to the memories of a ten-year-old Irish boy from the 1960s.

    Molloy by Samuel Beckett

    James Joyce by Richard Ellmann

    The Master by Colm Toibin

    The Crock Of Gold by James Stephens

    The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien

    That They May Face the Rising Sun by John McGahern

    Rain On the Wind by Walter MacKen

    Amongst Women by John McGahern

    Amongst Women is a novel by the Irish author John McGahern (1934-2006). The novel tells the story of Michael Moran, a bitter, ageing Irish Republican Army (IRA) veteran, and his tyranny over his wife and children, who both love and fear him. It is McGahern's best known novel and is considered his masterpiece. It was shortlisted for the 1990 Booker Prize and won the Irish Times/Aer Lingus Literary Award in 1991.

    Dubliners by James Joyce

    Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. The fifteen stories were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of the Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century. The stories were written at the time when Irish nationalism was at its peak, and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences.

Irish Fiction Books & Ephemera

    Star Of the Sea, The by O'Connor, Joseph

    Star of the Sea is a historical novel by the Irish writer Joseph O'Connor published in 2004. The novel is set in 1847 against the backdrop of the Irish famine. The "Star of the Sea" of the title is a famine ship, making the journey from Ireland to New York. Aboard are hundreds of refugees, most of them with humble and desperate backgrounds.

    Brooklyn by Toibin, Colm

    Colm Tóibín’s most recent novel, The Master , won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Le prix du meilleur livre étranger, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His other books of fiction include The Story of the Night , The Blackwater Lightship , a finalist for the Man Booker Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the short fiction collection Mothers and Sons . Tóibín was one of the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize judges in Toronto. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

    The Secret Scripture by Barry, Sebastian

    An epic story of family, love, and unavoidable tragedy from the two-time Man Booker Prize finalist Sebastian Barry 's novels have been hugely admired by readers and critics, and in 2005 his novel A Long Long Way was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In The Secret Scripture , Barry revisits County Sligo, Ireland, the setting for his previous three books, to tell the unforgettable story of Roseanne McNulty. Once one of the most beguiling women in Sligo, she is now a resident of Roscommon Regional Mental Hospital and nearing her hundredth year. Set against an Ireland besieged by conflict, The Secret Scripture is an engrossing tale of one woman's life, and a vivid reminder of the stranglehold that the Catholic church had on individuals throughout much of the twentieth century.

    A Goat's Song by Healy, Dermot

    An Irish playwright reimagines his estranged lover’s past in this “rare and powerful book”(E. Annie Proulx) whose “melancholy beauty resonates with the deepest truths” (Boston Globe).

    The Barracks by McGahern, John

    Elizabeth Reegan, after years of freedom and loneliness marries into the enclosed Irish village of her upbringing. The children are not her own; her husband is straining to break free from the servile security of the police force; and her own life, threatened by illness, seems to be losing the last vestiges of its purpose. Moving between tragedy and savage comedy, desperation and joy, John McGaherns first novel is one of haunting power.

    The Blackwater Lightship by Toibin, Colm

    The Blackwater Lightship is a 1999 novel written by Irish novelist Colm Tóibín, and was short-listed for the Booker Prize.

    A Star Called Henry by Doyle, Roddy

    A Star Called Henry (1999) is a novel by Irish writer Roddy Doyle. It is Vol. 1 of The Last Roundup series. The second installment of the series, Oh, Play That Thing, was published in 2004.

    Fools Of Fortune by Trevor, William

    Penguin Classics is proud to welcome William Trevor—"Ireland’s answer to Chekhov" ( The Boston Globe ) and "one of the best writers of our era" ( The Washington Post )—to our distinguished list of literary masters. In this award-winning novel, an informer’s body is found on the estate of a wealthy Irish family shortly after the First World War, and an appalling cycle of revenge is set in motion. Led by a zealous sergeant, the Black and Tans set fire to the family home, and only young Willie and his mother escape alive. Fatherless, Willie grows into manhood while his alcoholic mother’s bitter resentment festers. And though he finds love, Willie is unable to leave the terrible injuries of the past behind. First time in Penguin Classics Winner of the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award

    Exiles by Joyce, James

    The Best Of Myles by O'Brien, Flann

    The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas by Boyne, John

    A Season To Remember by O'Flanagan, Sheila

    Father's Music by Bolger, Dermot

    Down By the River by O'Brien, Edna

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