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Literary visions of multicultural IrelandThe immigrant in contemporary Irish literature$
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Villar-Argáiz Pilar

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089282

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089282.001.0001

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‘Many and terrible are the roads to home’: representations of the immigrant in the contemporary Irish short story

‘Many and terrible are the roads to home’: representations of the immigrant in the contemporary Irish short story

Chapter:
(p.120) 8 ‘Many and terrible are the roads to home’: representations of the immigrant in the contemporary Irish short story
Source:
Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
Author(s):

Anne Fogarty

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719089282.003.0008

This chapter explores reconfigurations of traditional national identities in the short fiction of Edna O’ Brien, Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, Colum McCann, Mary O'Donnell, and Éilís Ní Dhuibhne. Drawing on Paul Ricoeur's observations about selfhood and Otherness, the author demonstrates that these writers frequently use the figure of the immigrant in order to scrutinise, in the postnational context of Ireland, the shattering of conventional notions about self, family, and community. As the author shows, the immigrant never appears as an isolated motif in fictional portrayals of contemporary Ireland. Rather, the description of such a character tends to be linked with incisive explorations of contemporary Irishness.

Keywords:   Edna O’ Brien, Colm Tóibín, Anne Enright, Colum McCann Mary O'Donnell, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Paul Ricoeur, Immigration

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