Monday, March 16, 2009

Top ten Irish novels

Frank Delaney is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Ireland as well as Shannon, Tipperary and Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea. A former judge for the Man Booker Prize, Delaney enjoyed a prominent career in BBC broadcasting before becoming a full-time writer.

In 2004 he named his top 10 Irish novels for the Guardian.

One title on Delaney's list:
Troubles by JG Farrell

It seems right that a number of any top 10 Irish novels should address the emotional and physical violence that formed modern Ireland. Farrell wrote superbly; all his books had a quality that hallmarks great literary talent - he could 'do' texture. This album - which is what Troubles feels like - records the same Anglo-Irish as Elizabeth Bowen knew and belonged to. As with Bowen, this feels like the real thing (which is all a novel has to do). Always judge a writer by his grasp of what he doesn't know: Farrell died young yet his old people are almost his best creations.
Read about Number One on Delaney's list.

--Marshal Zeringue