It's no secret that I have a penchant for modern Irish fiction. I've read everything from John McGahern to Roddy Doyle, Maeve Binchy to Jennifer Johnston. But despite one (timid) foray into James Joyce, I've never really explored the great Irish writers, such as Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett. This year I hope to change all that.
Inspired by a calendar I bought on a trip to Ireland last year -- each new month features a classic Irish writer -- I thought I'd attempt to read one book a month across the year -- yes, 12 in total -- from the following authors:
- James Joyce (1882-1941)
- Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
- John Millington Synge (1871-1909)
- Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1792)
- Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)
- Sean O'Casey (1880-1964)
- Patrick Kavanagh (1904-1967)
- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
- Flann O'Brien (1911-1966)
- Brendan Behan (1923-1964)
- Johnathan Swift (1667-1745)
- William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
I'm not sure how this will work out, but I'm hoping this may improve my "education" and give me greater exposure to all forms of writing -- plays, memoirs, short stories and the like -- instead of my usual tendency to stick to 20th/21st century novels.
This is not a reader's challenge as such (god knows the blogosphere is SWAMPED with those), but if you're interested in joining me, feel free to download the picture (I designed it myself) and post on your own blog.