With this collection of some of English-language short stories of the past half century, the reader is invited to see Ireland afresh from the perspective of its women writers. Included are stories by well-known writers such as Mary Lavin, Edna O'Brien and Julia O'Faolain. The collection also includes new writers, such as Clare Boylan, Rita Kelly, and Una Woods. The stories focus on the inherrent contradictions of provincial Ireland's role as a modern European state. In the first story, Helen Lucy Burke writes of an older Irish woman, encountering the shocking realities of Italian Catholic Rome. Other stories provide interesting revisions of traditional Irish themes and situations, such as the problems of an educated, sensitive person stuck in a country town. Anne Devlin handles the themes of the Irish person in England, this time in an England edgy about IRA bombings. Some stories deal with the ""Troubles"" in Northern Ireland; others deal with the eternal troubles of Ireland as a whole too many children, too much hypocrisy, too little communication between men and women. The editors have provided an introduction which examines the role of women, especially women writers, in Irish history and literature.