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Coming-of-Age Stories by Irish and Irish American Writers

edited by Gordon Snell

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-385-32571-1
Publisher: Delacorte

A strong collection of stories saturated with the scent of the sea, the taste of Guinness, and a rough Gaelic music to the words even when they are spoken in Texas or Liverpool. Shane Connaughton, who wrote the screenplay for My Left Foot, opens with young male love all tied up in an old family house about to be razed. Memories and ghosts in another abandoned family house inhabit June Considine’s “To Dream of White Horses,” perhaps the most intensely felt of the stories. Maeve Binchy (famed novelist and wife of the editor) allows teenage Grania a glimpse of her parents’ very complicated lives; Ita Daly’s “Headstrong Girl” faces her own survival at last at Irish summer camp. Abortion, furtive passions, the vicious war between Catholics and Protestants, and an Irish girl’s epiphany at a Texas greasy spoon: all in the end are backdrops to each protagonist’s finding his or her own self. As with many such collections, the tales are best read individually rather than all at once. (Short stories. YA)