The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories

The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories

by William Trevor (Editor)


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Ireland has always been a nation of storytellers: tall stories, simple stories, stories of mystery and wonder, of love and violence form part of Irish conversation as naturally as passing the time of day. What began as both entertainment and communication through the spoken word grew into a literary form that no other country can match. The Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories triumphantly demonstrates that development, from the early folk-tales of the oral tradition (here translated from the Irish) through Oliver Goldsmith and Maria Edgeworth to James Joyce and Liam O'Flaherty and the rising stars of the next generation.

William Trevor has been described as 'perhaps the finest short-story writer in the English language', and he brings a special sensibility and awareness to his role as editor. All the stories in his selection 'have been influenced by a culture that made much of the fiction it could best absorb'. They are 'the distillations of an essence', in whose subtleties portraiture thrives. Some deriver their strength from brevity, others require a considerable spread to achieve their effect. Trevor does not eschew the long short story, as distinct from the novella, so the masterly 'Albert Nobbs' by George Moore is accorded its place, and Willam Carleton, Sheridan Le Fanu, Seumas O'Kelly, and James Joyce are all given the space their writing deserves.

The roots of the modern short story in Ireland are firmly embedded in the soil of the past, and in this wonderful anthology echoes and influences pervade individual stories to enrich our understanding of unique literary tradition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780192141804
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 06/01/1989
Series: Oxford Books of Prose & Verse
Pages: 592
Sales rank: 399,475
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

William Trevor, novelist, short story writer, and dramatist, is the author of The Ballroom of Romance, Angels at the Ritz, The News from Ireland, and numerous other works.


Devon, England

Date of Birth:

May 24, 1928

Place of Birth:

Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland


Trinity College, Dublin, 1950

Table of Contents

The Hour of Death
Fionn in Search of his Youth
Cromwell and the Friar
The Girl and the Sailor
The Four-leafed Shamrock and the Cock
The Cow that ate the Piper
Conal and Donal and Taig
Adventures of a Strolling Player, Oliver Goldsmith
The Limerick Gloves, Maria Edgeworth
The Death of a Devotee, William Carleton
The Brown Man, Gerald Griffin
Green Tea, Sheridan Le Fanu
Albert Nobbs, George Moore
The Sphinx without a Secret, Oscar Wilde
Philippa's Fox Hunt, E.E. Somerville and Martin Ross
The Priest, Daniel Corkery
The Weaver's Grave, Seumas O'Kelly
The Dead, James Joyce
My Little Black Ass, Padraic O Conaire
The Triangle, James Stephens
Bush River, Joyce Carey
The Pedlar's Revenge, Liam O'Flaherty
The Fanatic, Liam O'Flaherty
Her Table Spread, Elizabeth Bowen
The Faithless Wife, Sean O'Faolain
The Sugawn Chair, Sean O'Faolain
Guests of the Nation, Frank O'Connor
The Majesty of the Law, Frank O'Connor
Pastorale, Patrick Boyle
The Hare-Lip, Mairtan O Cadhain
The Poteen Maker, Michael McLaverty
The Ring, Bryan MacMahon
Sarah, Mary Lavin
Desert Island, Terence De Vere White
The Pilgrims, Benedict Kiely
Weep for our Pride, James Plunkett
Loser, Val Mulkerns
The Bird I Fancied, Aidan Higgins
Death in Jerusalem, William Trevor
The Diviner, Brian Friel
An Occasion of Sin, John Montague
Irish Revel, Edna O'Brien
First Conjugation, Julia O'Faolain
The Beginning of an Idea, John McGahern
Life Drawing, Bernard Mac Laverty
The Airedale, Desmond Hogan
Index of Authors

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