Women and Exile in Contemporary Irish Fiction

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-04-11
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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Women and Exile in Contemporary Irish Fiction examines the representation of the Irish woman migrant and ideas of exile in the contemporary Irish novel. Women have frequently been overlooked or made to serve an emblematic or symbolic function in the portrayal of exile in Irish writing, but more recent treatments of exile and emigration show a keen interest in reclaiming the history of the Irish woman emigrant and in explicitly addressing this lacuna. The book surveys how the Irish woman emigrant is imagined from the early twentieth century to the present day, and explores how six Irish authors - Julia O'Faolain, Edna O'Brien, Anne Enright, John McGahern, William Trevor and Colm Tóibín - have contributed to the recovery of the story of the woman migrant. Particular emphasis is given to how these writers offer complex representations of women in relation to the Irish emigrant experience and respond to a range of different meanings of exile and emigration in an Irish context.

Author Biography

Ellen McWilliams is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Exeter, UK. She is the author of Margaret Atwood and the Female Bildungsroman (2009) and has received a number of awards for research, including an Arts and Humanities Research Council Early Career Fellowship (2011) and a Fulbright Scholar Award (2012).

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 
2. Women, Forms of Exile, and Diasporic Identities 
3. 'Outside History': Exile and Myths of the Irish Feminine in Julia O'Faolain's No Country for Young Men and The Irish Signorina 
4. Negotiating with the Motherland: Exile and the Irish Woman Writer in Edna O'Brien's The Country Girls Trilogy and The Light of Evening 
5. Relative Visibility: Women, Exile, and Censorship in John McGahern's The Leavetaking and Amongst Women 
6. Architectures of Exile and Self-Exile in William Trevor's Felicia's Journey and The Story of Lucy Gault 
7. The Refusenik Returnee and Reluctant Emigrant in Colm Tóibín's The South and Brooklyn 
8. 'Ireland is Something That Often Happens Elsewhere': Displaced and Disrupted Histories in Anne Enright's What Are You Like? and The Gathering

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