The Comic Tradition in Irish Women Writers

Edited by Theresa O'Connor

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"Spirited and intelligent essays. . . . The collection traves not only the history of women’s comic vision in Ireland, but the genesis of their work, its analogues and its consequences, its reception and its place on the continuum of the Irish literary tradition."--Claire A. Culleton, Kent State University

"The first book on the subject of comedy in the work of Irish women writers . . . . Useful and necessary scholarship."--Richard Bizot, University of North Florida

In an examination of the prose and poetry of Irish women writers from the late 18th century through the present, these writers argue that a hidden tradition of women’s comedy has evolved side by side with the canonical comic tradition. They call for a revisionist reading of Ireland’s comic intellectual heritage--a reading from the perspectives of two genders--and demand a new kind of double optic--an interpretative frame of reference capable of grappling with difference.

The collection will be of particular interest to Joyceans because it examines the influence of Joyce, who has been dismissed by many feminist critics as a pornographer and a champion of patriarchal privilege.

Theresa O’Connor is visiting assistant professor of English at Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois.

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"a pioneering, richly informative volume which might inspirit a new generation of both scholars and writers devoted to the comic in Irish culture." News Stead: A Journal of History and Literature

"By bringing together a marvelous and substantial group of Irish female comic writers, this collection of critical essays more than fulfills its aim to unveil the contribution of women writers to the Irish comic tradition." "Gaelic, Anglo-Irish, anti-nationalist and nationalist perspectives are interwoven, thus offsetting the arrival at a simplistic of reductive account of Irish women's comedy but presenting the tradition in all its richness and complexity."--New Hibernia Review New Hibernia Review

"O'Connor and her peers give us information about writers we need to know, as well as new ways of looking at those writers. That combination makes The Comic Tradition in Irish Women Writers a useful volume for those who want to try to understand Irish comedy and those who have produced it." English Literature in Transition

"Both timely and useful. . . , it offers valuable readings of texts which have received little or no critical attention." -- Southern Humanities Review Southern Humanities Review

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