CfP: The Tana French Issue: Critical Inquiries Into Irish Studies (Vol 4, 1, 2022)

Barry, Anthony, Macavity, and Edgar Award-winning novelist Tana French has written eight novels that bridge generic conventions from the Anglo-Irish Big House novels such as The LikenessThe Witch Elm, and Broken Harbour, to the campus novel of The Secret Place, to the crime fiction of In the WoodsFaithful Place, and The TrespasserThe Searcher, her most recent work, is an Irish yet American-style Western set in the West of Ireland. 

Although the popular success of French’s work has generated much media coverage, scholarship remains far less than it deserves. In the main, critics have explored French’s challenge to market-driven genres, as she combines the realism and tight plotting of police procedurals with the ambiguity and mystery of fantasy, supernatural, and Gothic genres. In addition, French’s technique of featuring a different protagonist/narrator from her “Dublin Murder Squad” in each novel fosters an intimate narrative voice and psychological depth that ally readers closely with narrators and often unsettle their expectations.

A final theme in critical evaluation has been French’s powerful sense of place, reaching back into Ireland’s past and at the same time rendering a vivid sense of contemporary Dublin and its environs. Truly postmodern, Tana French’s novels destabilize expectations and blur boundaries between “high” and popular art, and Irish and international cultures. The 2022 issue of Critical Inquiries into Irish Studies seeks papers that explore in more specific ways any of these approaches to her work or open new critical avenues into appreciating French’s art. 

Email a 350-word abstract by December 15, 2021. 

If accepted, finished essays of between 3000 – 5000 words should be received by March 15, 2022.

Submit as a Word document in MLA format electronically to the editors: Dr Martha Carpentier ( and Dr Elizabeth Redwine (, Seton Hall University, South Orange NJ, USA 

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