This edited collection, provides a complete academic account of the fictions of Elizabeth Bowen (1899- 1973), the most important Anglo-Irish novelist of the 20th century. It covers Bowen’s life, her family background and her writing career between London and North Cork. Of particular interest is her position as an Anglo-Irish writer and her centrality as a major novelist within the traditions of 20th century writing, within modernist literature and, in particular, within modern Irish writing. This book provides an overall cultural context for her novels and short stories. Each chapter explores Bowen’s links with other 20th century novelists and her modernist deployment of the novel form, her representation of Ireland, of the Anglo-Irish and of the Irish War of Independence.
Also considered are the wide range of Bowen’s short stories from 1929 up to 1967 and her experience of living in London during the Second World War. Other chapters discuss the changes in narrative form used in Bowen’s last novels, novels of experimentation and increasing darkness. This book locates her writings within contemporary notions of the construction of gender in relation to fictive representations of sexuality and sexual identity. Bowen has been read as a modernist, a structuralist and also within feminist and post- colonial theories of fiction writing. This book provides a comprehensive scholarly account of her creative life and that critical afterlife.
Table of Contents
- Elizabeth Bowen: A Short Biography ~ Noreen Doody
- Bowen: Ascendancy Modernist ~ Vera Kreilkamp
- Bowen and Modernism: The Early Novels ~ Andrew Bennett
- ‘Not like a person at all’: Bowen, the 1920’s and ‘The Dancing-Mistress’ ~ Patricia Coughlan
- Ghosts from our Future: Bowen and the Unfinished Business of Living ~ Derek Hand
- Bowen and the Modern Ghost ~ Sinead Mooney
- ‘A Time for Hard Writers’ ~ Eibhear Walshe
- ‘Autobiography As We Know It Now Is Artists’ Work’ ~ Mary Breen
- ‘Half Different’: The Vanishing Irish in A World of Love ~ Clair Wills
About the Author
Dr Eibhear Walshe is Lecturer in English, University College, Cork. He has edited six books, including Ordinary People Dancing: Essays on Kate O’Brien Cork University Press.