Katrina GoldstoneMay 24, 2022
Irish Writers and the Thirties
Art, Exile and War
The theme of exile in Irish writing often calls to mind Joyce or Beckett, but rarely does it conjure up other writers or literary networks, particularly those of the often-overlooked literary history of the nineteen thirties. Goldstone’s original new study, Irish Writers and the Thirties: Art, Exile and War (Routledge, 2020) takes up the theme of art and exile by focusing on four Irish writers—Leslie Daiken, Charles Donnelly, Ewart Milne and Michael Sayers—and brings to light important local and global aspects of the Popular Front cultural movement. Tracing literary networks from interwar London to the Spanish Civil War and the USSR Goldstone skillfully exposes the ways that these lives overlapped and entwined, revealing the relationships between these writers and George Orwell, Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Nancy Cunard, William Carlos Williams, and others, thus illuminating internationalist aspects of a Leftist cultural history. This book is commendable for its discussion of how Irish literary women on the left defied marginalization, and in this way provides a framework for further study on the topic.
In its examination of this neglected period of Irish literary history Irish Writers and the Thirties re-imagines Irish writing of the mid-twentieth century and will prove of great interest to scholars and students of cultural history, Irish studies, and Jewish studies, as well as to more general readers interested in the thirties.
Bridget English is a scholar of Irish literature and culture, modernism, and health humanities, based at the University of Illinois Chicago. She co-convenes the Irish Studies Seminar at the Newberry Library and is the Literature Representative for the American Conference for Irish Studies. Twitter feed: https://twitter.com/bridgetrenglis2