Monday, March 16, 2009

Top 10 Irish novels

Frank Delaney is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Ireland as well as Shannon, Tipperary and Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea. A former judge for the Man Booker Prize, Delaney enjoyed a prominent career in BBC broadcasting before becoming a full-time writer.

In 2004 he named his top 10 Irish novels for the Guardian.

Number One on Delaney's list:
Ulysses by James Joyce

Obviously Ulysses has to be first. On another day in another room in another town my top 10 Irish novels might be different - but there are 'given' novels, the bibles of the country, without which no reader worthy of the nationality 'Irish' can proceed. Joyce hammered a job on the novel so complete that he became a category unto himself. Every literary style was mist to his grill, as he might have said, and his plotting, if such it can be called - two men who take all day to meet each other - paved the way for, among others, Samuel Beckett. Above all he taught every writer the importance of naturalistic dialogue; with his fine tenor voice Joyce knew better than most that we read not with the eye but with the ear.
Read about all ten titles on the list.

Ulysses also made John Mullan's list of the ten of the best parodies in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue