HOW IRISH WOMEN WRITERS PORTRAY MASCULINITY Exposing the Presumptions of Patriarchy (Interviews and Novels by Clare Boylan, Maeve Kelly, Mary O'Donnell, and Anne Haverty)

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The roles of men and women in Ireland have changed a great deal in the last fifty years and many of these changes can be attributed to the dual influence of the Irish Women’s Movement and Ireland’s inclusion in the European Community/Union. While these two influences affected many rapid legal changes toward equality for women and men in Ireland, Irish society has been slow to reflect these shifts. The novels examined in this book reflect the gap between these legal and societal changes.


“... Dr. Houston demonstrates how the study of fictional texts can give a rich experience of particular lives, but she embeds her study of the novels in the more generalized sociological contexts in which these characters would have lived … the social issues she considers, that the novels depict, are those that affect the lives of men and women in the most profound and intimate ways … at the heart of each of these, however, is not the usual question of women’s experience, but rather of men’s – as imagined by women.” – Professor Christine St. Peter, University of Victoria

“ ... Dr. Houston provides a long, and most impressive, historical and theoretical overview of the field … she compares and contrasts both contemporary American and Irish literary landscapes to show how feminist critical strategies concur and diverge between countries ...” – Dr. Eamonn Wall, the University of Missouri

Table of Contents

Introduction: Women Writing in Ireland
1. Ordinary Men and Women: Gender in Ireland
2. Learning to Swim: Clare Boylan’s Room for a Single Lady
3. Born to Women but Not of Them: Maeve Kelly’s Necessary Treasons
4. New Men? Mary O’Donnell’s The Light Makers
5. Anguished, Abject, and Angry: Anne Haverty’s One Day as a Tiger
Appendix A: Interview with Clare Boylan
Appendix B: Interview with Maeve Kelly
Appendix C: Interview with Mary O’Donnell
Appendix D: Email Interview with Mary O’Donnell
Appendix E: Interview with Anne Haverty

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