Changing Ireland: Strategies in Contemporary Women's Fiction by Christine St. Peter

By Christine St. Peter

Prior to now twenty-five years, eire has obvious an explosion of women's fiction - countless numbers of released works that reimagine the inherited literary traditions and the social contexts of women's lives. altering eire examines women's use of historic fiction, exile literature, Northern battle narratives, speculative fiction, and vintage 'realism', and appears on the neighborhood Irish different types of foreign women's genres just like the romance novel and feminist fiction.

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79–80). Although Woolf’s essay used to function as a quasi-bible for white western feminist readers, it is curious how few books by women authors, even feminist authors, in fact manage to create female friends in the full and often difficult complexity of their relations with each other, and through the mediating experience of their shared work. It is this aspect of Florrie’s Girls that marks its striking originality. Accompanying the focus on female friendship is Kelly’s reevaluation of women’s traditional work and a celebration of its achievement as in this representative sample: Nothing in my books had prepared me [for the difficulties of orthopedic nursing].

236). Using this analysis, one can argue that Deirdre’s decision to flee Ireland was only in part a choice to leave a society in which her feminist awareness was not accepted; more fundamentally, it was a decision to flee the effects of that misogyny on women, on her mother, on herself. Any sort of rehabilitative process, then, requires a new kind of understanding and acceptance of her mother. At the beginning of my discussion of this novel, I focused on the scene where Deirdre sits down at her father’s desk days after his death and touches his pen and writing tools.

79). But in a curious move, when Deirdre discovers who and where this Inga is, she chooses not to seek her out in her adopted Canada, but to go instead to Hungary, to discover her cultural heritage instead of reconnecting to the presumed biological one. And it is in this exploration of cultural parentage that O’Connor offers a critique of Ireland’s malfeasant effects on women’s lives. Although Deirdre never makes an explicit connection between her mother’s invalid state and her own cultural maladaptation, she does explicitly realize that she must leave Ireland if she is to find an effective voice.

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