James Liddy

Eamonn Wall, editor

On Irish Literature and Identities


9781851320516 paperback

9781851320615 limited edition

Available from


Book Depository

On Irish Literature and Identities is the second of two volumes of James Liddy’s critical essays, following On American Literature and Diasporas(2013). Though it makes great swerves and has multiple frames of reference, On Irish Literature and Identities is framed by James Liddy’s intense and enduring attachment to Dublin. Even when he is looking beyond Dublin, as is the case in his essays on poets from the North of Ireland, he writes from a perspective heavily shaded by Dublin opinion. As a student James Liddy began to engage with Dublin’s literary and bohemian culture, and meeting Patrick Kavanagh was the singular event that changed his life. James Liddy writes about the writers he encountered during these years and brings alive a vanished world. Though this world was highly social, Liddy is interested in its literary aspect, the ways in which the literary and the social cross paths in bars, restaurants, lecture theatres, bookshops and in publishing houses. In many respects the world he describes is one in which barriers between public and private worlds are erased. Throughout these essays, Liddy engages with both the writers and their work and with the literary traditions from which they emerged. This is a book of literary-academic-and bohemian witness written in an engaging, brilliant, and unique voice.