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The contemporary Irish short story, perhaps even more than the novel, provides vital critical clues and guideposts for anyone interested in twentieth-century Irish writing—the Irish, after all, have always been a nation of storytellers, and the current practioners of this ancient tradition are in the process of exploding and rediefining the form.
The Anchor Book of New Irish Writing features a group of writers whose influence is already strongly felt in Irish literature, and who deserve to be better known in American, among them Aidan Matthews and Anne Enright. The stories themselves are beautifully written, well-chosen by the editors, and presented in such a way as to guide readers through the fascinating dramatic, structural, and technical themes explored by contemporary Irish stories. The result is a rich sampling of these writers including the work of more familiar ones—from Elizabetth Bowen to Neil Jordan—a collection that promises to introduce the new classics of Irish literature to a wider audience.