Literary Visions of Multicultural Ireland: The Immigrant in Contemporary Irish Literature

Ed. Pilar Villar-Argáiz. Manchester:

Manchester University Press, 2014. ISBN: 978-0-7190-8928-2

This pioneering collection of essays deals with the topic of how Irish literature responds to the presence of non-Irish immigrants in Celtic-Tiger and post-Celtic-Tiger Ireland. The book assembles an international group of 18 leading and prestigious academics in the field of Irish studies from both sides of the Atlantic, including Declan Kiberd, Anne Fogarty and Maureen T. Reddy, amongst others.

Key areas of discussion are: what does it mean to be ‘multicultural’ and what are the implications of this condition for contemporary Irish writers? How has literature in Ireland responded to inward migration?

Have Irish writers reflected in their work (either explicitly or implicitly) the existence of migrant communities in Ireland? If so, are elements of Irish traditional culture and community maintained or transformed? What is the social and political efficacy of these intercultural artistic visions?

Writers discussed include Hugo Hamilton, Roddy Doyle, Colum McCann, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Dermot Bolger, Chris Binchy, Michael O’Loughlin, Emer Martin, and Kate O’Riordan.


Foreword by Declan Kiberd (“The Worlding of Irish Literature”) Introduction. The Immigrant in Contemporary Irish literature; Pilar Villar-Argáiz

PART I: IRISH MULTICULTURALISMS: OBSTACLES AND CHALLENGES 1. White Irish Male Playwrights and the Immigrant Experience Onstage; Charlotte McIvor 2. Strangers in a Strange Land?: The New Irish Multicultural Literature; Amanda Tucker 3. ‘A Nation of Others’: The Immigrant in Contemporary Irish Poetry; Pilar Villar-Argáiz 4. Immigration in Celtic Tiger and Post-Celtic Tiger Novels; Margarita Estévez-Saá

PART II: ‘RETHINKING IRELAND’ AS A POSTNATIONALIST COMMUNITY 5. ‘Who is Irish?’: Roddy Doyle’s Hyphenated Identities; Eva Roa White 6. ‘Our Identity is Our Own Instability’: Intercultural Exchanges and the Redefinition of Identity in Hugo Hamilton’s Disguise and Hand in Fire; Carmen Zamorano Llena 7. ‘Many and Terrible are the Roads to Home’: Representations of the Immigrant in the Contemporary Irish Short Story; Anne Fogarty 8. Writing the ‘New Irish’ into Ireland’s Old Narratives: The Poetry of Sinéad Morrissey, Leontia Flynn, Mary O’Malley, and Michael Hayes; Katarzyna Poloczec

PART III: ‘THE RETURN OF THE REPRESSED’: ‘PERFORMING’ IRISHNESS THROUGH INTERCULTURAL ENCOUNTERS 9. ‘Marooned Men in Foreign Cities’: Encounters with the Other in Dermot Bolger’s The Ballymun Trilogy; Paula Murphy 10. ‘Like a Foreigner / In My Native Land’: Transculturality and Otherness in Twenty-First-Century Irish Poetry; Michaela Schrage-Früh 11. Irish Multicultural Epiphanies: Modernity and the Recuperation of Migrant Memory in the Writing of Hugo Hamilton; Jason King 12. The Parts: Whiskey, Tea, and Sympathy; Katherine O’Donnell 13. Hospitality and Hauteur: Tourism, Cross-Cultural Space, and Ethics in Irish Poetry; Charles I. Armstrong


14. Towards a Multiracial Ireland: Black Baby’s Revision of Irish Motherhood; Maureen T. Reddy 15. Beginning History Again: Gendering the Foreigner in Emer Martin’s Baby Zero; Wanda Balzano 16. ‘Goodnight and Joy be With you All’: Tales of Contemporary Dublin City Life; Loredana Salis 17. Mean Streets, New Lives: The Representations of Non-Irish Immigrants in Recent Irish Crime fiction; David Clark Index

Pilar Villar-Argáiz is a Senior Lecturer in British and Irish Literature at the University of Granada, Spain.