Irish Reads

Ireland is home to many authors who have achieved universal fame. Given the small size and population of the country, this is an incredible feat. This nation of writers has produced some of the most renowned and significant works of literature in the English language. Honor the Irish this St. Patrick’s Day by reading a book by an Irish author. Choose from some classic titles, or maybe try a contemporary work. 

Classics

Dubliners – From perhaps the king of the modernist movement, James Joyce’s Dubliners plants the reader in the heart of Ireland’s capital city. This collection of short stories offers a realistic depiction of the working class in early 20th century Dublin.

Picture of Dorian Gray – The only novel by Oscar Wilde about a devastatingly handsome young man who is struck by the idea he will age— and will do anything to reverse the process. It caused much controversy when published in 1890 for its portrayal of homosexuality. Over twenty films have been adapted of this book.

Dracula – Published in 1897, Bram Stroker’s book, more gothic than horror, induced a thousand nightmares and more than a century’s worth of vampire fiction. Jonathan Harper’s encounter with an ancient evil still terrifies after all these years. 

Collected Poems of W.B. Yeats – Winner of the 1923 Nobel Prize for Literature, W.B. Yeats is often regarded as the greatest lyrical poet that Ireland has ever produced, and one that James Joyce cited as a key influence. Yeats is everything you want in a poet: escapist, thought-provoking and politically engaged.

Contemporary

100 Poems – Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney is regarded as one of the finest poets of the 20th century, ranking with Irish poet, W.B. Yeats and the American poet, T.S. Eliot.

Normal People – Sally Rooney, a 21st century award-winning author tells the story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. Marianne and Connell, from different backgrounds but the same small town in Ireland, weave in and out of each other's romantic lives and want to stay apart— but find that they can’t. Now an Emmy-nominated series on Hulu. 

A Week in Winter – Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, columnist, and speaker Maeve Binchy was known for her lighthearted depiction of Irish life in small communities and stories with a twist.

Brooklyn – Award winner Colm Toibin offers a love story set within the landscape of Irish migration to the United States in the 1950s. The movie adaptation garnished three Oscar nominations. 

More Irish Authors 

The above authors are just a small sampling of the multitude of Irish writers that hail from the Emerald Isle. You can find many more in our collection including Frank McCourt, Maria Edgeworth, Edna O’Brien, and Roddy Doyle. Sláinte!

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