Although the work of many contemporary Irish writers for children is often complex and sophisticated there is currently very little critical analysis to do it justice. The aim of this book is to redress that situation and to prove that the best writing for children is no less complex and well written than the best adult fiction and offers valuable material for theoreticians. With a detailed examination of selected texts by six Irish writers for children, the book explores the reciprocal relationship between the different time and place of the child reader, and the complexity and multiplicity of the world of the adult writer. It suggests that putting the different forms of experience in dialogue with each other promotes a new understanding because it allows for other points of view and other ways of seeing. This book also suggests that the way in which these writers implement the potential of the child reader’s different perspective refutes the idea of the ‘impossible’ relation between adult and child. The opening chapter explores the attempt to recreate childhood and adolescence in a range of Irish memoir and fiction.
Table of Contents
1. Do You Believe in Children?
2. Post Independent Ireland: Eilís Dillon
3. The Importance of History to Cultural Identity: Marita Conlon-McKenna
4. Modern Ireland: Cormac MacRaois
5. Self-Differentiation and Self-Development: Mark O’Sullivan
6. The Dynamics of Narrative Exchange: Siobhan Parkinson
7. ‘And nothing at all to do except wait to be eaten’: Matthew Sweeney
8. Conclusion: Rethinking the Past; Imagining the Future
About the Author
Nancy Watson was awarded a PhD from the Department of Anglo-Irish Litearture, University College Dublin, and has contributed to books and journals on children’s literature.