Saturday, August 29, 2009

Book Paradise : Ireland

Ireland - Northern Ireland and the Republic - is a bookbuyer's paradise. Additionally, books one can find in the North may not be available in the south. Some writers easily cross the border such as Ciaran Carson, the Belfast poet. Other writers like Glenn Patterson, a Belfast novelist, are harder to find in the south. Could it be that Carson, fluent in Irish, a Catholic, and Irish nationalist is thought of as Irish in a way that Patterson, a Protestant is not? There are probably academic writings on the topic, and I will try to avoid simplistic conclusions here about such complicated issues. It is simply an observation, and I may well be totally wrong.

I spent more on books than I did on food in my 11 days in Ireland. Coming home, my bag of books was heavier than my suitcase of clothes etc. Now I need to take a year off to read them all.

Upstairs Books, Dublin

Ulysses and Me : Declan Kibard (Literary criticism)
• Language and Politics (QUB journal)

Queens University Bookshop, Belfast
Shelmalier - Medbh McGuckian [poetry]
Had I a Thousand Lives by Medbh McGuckian [poetry]
The State of the Prisons - (2005) by Sinead Morrissey [poetry]
There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996) by Sinead Morrissey [poetry]
• My Twentieth Century Night Life: A Padraic Fiacc Miscellany [poetry]
Pirate Queen the Life of Grace O'Malley by Judith Cook (2004)
Last Before America: Irish and American Writing by Fran Brearton and Eamonn Hughes (2001)

Waterstones Belfast
Derry Hodges Figis Dublin

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