Friday, March 13, 2009

Got a Wee Bit of Time for the Irish?

Next week is St. Patrick's Day! While the usual response is to don something green and perhaps knock back a pint or two, this year consider adding a little literary Irishness to your St. Paddy's celebration. We've got a table full of ideas to help you accomplish that goal. How about tackling James Joyce's Ulysses (again?) -- better start early, as we've got The Complete and Unabridged Text, as Corrected and Reset in 1961. Or how about the Booker-Prize-winning novel The Sea, by John Banville?

Perhaps you'd prefer to toast the green with some nonfiction instead. Holt has recently reissued the memoir by Nuala O'Faolain, Are You Somebody? The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman, with a new foreward by Frank McCourt. Ms. O'Faolain died of cancer in May 2008, not long after conducting a radio interview that shocked listeners with her acceptance of her fate. This is a beautiful exploration of a remarkable life.

Or maybe you'd rather dip into At the Edge of Ireland: Seasons on the Beara Peninsula, by David Yeadon -- an intrepid wanderer's celebration of a magical, unspoiled, and unforgettable Eire, described by one reviewer as "as lively as a limerick!" Perhaps it's just the facts you're after, in which case we can offer you guides -- from Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, or Rick Steves -- to the land of leprechauns and limericks. And of course we have St Patrick's Day cards for you.

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