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Too Smart to Be Sentimental: Contemporary Irish American Women Writers written by Sally Barr Ebest

 

Too Smart to Be Sentimental: Contemporary Irish American Women Writers written by Sally Barr Ebest

Overview:

In a series of critical and biographical essays, Too Smart to Be Sentimental offers a feminist literary history of twentieth-century Irish America. This collection introduces the reader to the works of twelve contemporary Irish American women writers, some of whom are well known, such as Joyce Carol Oates, Alice McDermott, and Tess Gallagher, and some of whom are equally deserving of recognition.

Each chapter focuses on a particular writer, describes and discusses that writer's most important works, contextualizes the discussion with relevant biographical material, and highlights why the writer is representative of the Irish American literary tradition. Too Smart to Be Sentimental —the first critical study of contemporary Irish American women authors—will be invaluable to students and scholars of Irish studies and Irish American literature.

 

“This book gathers critical essays about Irish-American writers from Mary McCarthy to Erin McGraw. The essays that consider Mary Doyle Curran, Tess Gallagher, Eileen Myles, Mary McGarry Morris, Jean McGarvey, and Erin McGraw are valuable for their introductions to lesser-known writers or to writers who have achieved success but who are not necessarily known as Irish-American writers.” —Maureen O. Murphy, Hofstra University

 

“These personal, thoughtful, and authoritative essays make an original contribution. They are of significance for scholars in several related disciplines: contemporary American fiction, Irish-American literature, sociology, ethnic studies, Irish studies, and women’s studies.” —Thomas A. Kuhlman, Creighton University

Synopsis:

In a series of critical and biographical essays, Too Smart to Be Sentimental offers a feminist literary history of twentieth-century Irish America. This collection introduces the reader to the works of twelve contemporary Irish American women writers, some of whom are well known, such as Joyce Carol Oates, Alice McDermott, and Tess Gallagher, and some of whom are equally deserving of recognition.

Each chapter focuses on a particular writer, describes and discusses that writer's most important works, contextualizes the discussion with relevant biographical material, and highlights why the writer is representative of the Irish American literary tradition. Too Smart to Be Sentimental-the first critical study of contemporary Irish American women authors-will be invaluable to students and scholars of Irish studies and Irish American literature.

Denise J. Stankovics - Library Journal

This critical study of contemporary Irish American women writers, the first of its kind, offers a literary history of Irish America in the 20th century from a feminist perspective. Divided into the sections "Women in Irish American Society," "Religion and Ethics," "Oral Traditions," "Sexuality," and "Feminism, Culture and Critique," the essays (with notes) cover 12 authors: Mary McCarthy, Maureen Howard, Maeve Brennan, Elizabeth Cullinan, Alice McDermott, Tess Gallagher, Joyce Carol Oates, Jean McGarry, Mary McGarry Morris, Eileen Myles, Mary Gordon, and Erin McGraw. Recurrent themes include the Irish love of language, the influence of the Catholic Church, and preoccupation with guilt, family life, and traditional women's roles. Editors Ebest (English, Univ. of Missouri, St. Louis; Reconciling Catholicism and Feminism?: Personal Reflections on Tradition and Change) and McInerney (education, Chicago State Univ.) are among the authors of these scholarly and insightful essays. Recommended for academic and larger public libraries.

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Title: Too Smart to Be Sentimental: Contemporary Irish American Women Writers

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