While these essays are excellent and entertaining in themselves, the most substantial achievement of this book is that it will send readers back to – or ignite an interest in – the writers and works that are so enthusiastically featured. In this [Gerald] Dawe has done the Irish literary world some service. ~ John P. Sullivan, The Sunday Times
At their best, these essays are fluent and full of interest, offering glimpses into Dawe’s education and life while sharing with readers the benefit of his nuanced literary judgements. Even passing observations on writers such as Patrick Kavanagh, John McGahern and Eavan Boland are worth our attention.~ Clare Connolly, The Irish Times
Gerald Dawe in truth shows himself to be an astute observer and surveyor of the wealth of twentieth century Irish literature. ~ Paddy Kehoe, RTE Culture
This engaging, personal chronicle by Irish poet Gerald Dawe explores the lives and times of leading Irish writers, including W. B. Yeats, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett and Stewart Parker, alongside lesser-known names from the earlier decades of the twentieth century, such as Ethna Carberry, Alice Milligan, Joseph Campbell and George Reavey. It also portrays the changing cultural backgrounds of the author’s contemporaries, such as Derek Mahon, Eavan Boland, Eileán Ní Chuilleanáin, Colm Tóibín, Leontia Flynn and Sinéad Morrissey.
Gerald Dawe presents an accessible view of modern Irish literature, filtered perceptively through his own distinctive lens, and raises important questions about cultural belonging, the commercialisation of contemporary writing, and the influence of Irish literary culture in a digital age. In this lyrical exploration of national identity, The Wrong Country repositions our understanding of modern Irish writing in a wider context for today’s readers.
- Hearing Things: Beckett’s Yeats
- Plunkett’s City
- Border Crossings
- From The Ginger Man to Kitty Stobling
- The Passionate Transitory: John McGahern
- Fatal Attractions: John Berryman in Dublin
- History Lessons: Derek Mahon & Seamus Deane
- The Green Light: Stewart Parker
- Days of Burned Countryside: Eavan Boland & Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
- Story of the Republic
- Ethna Carbery in H Block
- ‘From Dusty Bluebells to Parallax’
- Basho, the River Moy and the Superser
- The Practice of Writing
- Epilogue: Fitting In
About the Author
Gerald Dawe is an Irish poet and Professor Emeritus and Fellow, Trinity College Dublin. He has published nine volumes of poetry including Lake Geneva (2003), Points West (2008), Selected Poems (2012) and Mickey Finn’s Air (2014). He has also edited Earth Voices Whispering: An Anthology of Irish War Poetry, 1914–1945 (2008) and the Cambridge Companion to Irish Poets (2018) and published several books of literary essays including Of War and War’s Alarms (2015) and In Another World: Van Morrison & Belfast (2017). He lives in Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.