AbstractThis chapter considers Irish writers’ continual reimagining of the Great Famine and the way it has shaped understandings of the past and present. In doing so, it addresses novels and short stories from nineteenth-century writers such as William Carleton, Mary Anne Hoare, and Margaret Brew, who sought to explain or reinterpret the catastrophe while it was still a living memory. The return of the Famine in later historical and neo-Victorian fiction by writers such as Liam O’Flaherty, John Banville, and Joseph O’Connor is considered in light of the association between Famine fiction and present-day crises in the post-independence era. The discussion also extends to the resurgence in literary interest in the Famine in the 1990s and early 2000s, which, the chapter suggests, was due not only to the greater exposure of the Famine in public discourse but also to a revival of insecurities that seemed to belong to the past.
CitationFegan, M. (2020-forthcoming). 'The Great Famine in Literature, 1901-2015'. In Harte, L. (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish Fiction. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
PublisherOxford University Press
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