After ten years of upheaval -- not only the `Troubles' in the north of Ireland but also great political and social changes in the south -- Irish writing is healthier, more vital and more searching than it has been for fifty years. This book marks this high point. The writers whose new work appears in this collection range in age from under twenty five to over eighty and differ widely in their choice of subject and theme: but they share a vision of the world and of experience which is coloured in a haunting way by an Irish perspective.
Established writers -- Beckett, O'Flaherty, O Faolain, Heaney -- have all provided unpublished work; and this is placed beside brilliant new work by younger writers and those with growing reputations. The editors have selected writing in Irish as well as English, and included extracts from novels, plays and short stories as well as poetry.
The book is arranged so that a photograph of the writer faces the first page of his or her work. These studies, taken especially by Mike Bunn, provide a memorable exploration in themselves of the personalities of the writers.
A book of such striking vidual and literaty impact serves as a timely reminder of the power and importance of the culture of modern Ireland.