Friday, June 6, 2014

Dubliners 100 Edited by Thomas Morris

Celebrating Joyce's homage to his home city one hundred years after publication and just in time for Bloomsday is an ambitious and brilliant achievement for newcomers Tramp Press in this their second outing. It is a beautifully produced book and it is certain to put Tramp firmly on the literary map. The calibre of the writers who have contributed work to this anthology is top notch, ranging from Patrick McCabe who opens the book with his interpretation of The Sisters to Peter Murphy who closes with The Dead. The quality of the work is in many cases outstanding. The stories share a name and a similarity of theme with the originals. The Dublin landscape features strongly and the realities of modern Dublin living are presented in all their hideous glory often turning the original setting on its head. Thus Donal Ryan's "Eveline" gives us aslylum seekers and welcome parties instead of the exile of the original. Similarly Oona Frawley's "The Boarding House" features a couple through financial difficulty forced to "board" with her mother. Some of the stories are outstanding "A Mother" by Elske Rahill. "Clay" by Michele Forbes and "A Painful Case" by Paul Murray deserve particular mention for their vivid rendering of the Dublin of today and their fantastic characterisation, some I felt were less successful Patrick Mc Cabe's and Andrew Fox's stories did nothing for me. Nonetheless there will no doubt be something for everyone in this wonderful collection which features striking cover artwork and is available in both paperback and hardcover. Thanks so much to Lisa at Tramp Press who sent me a review copy. Officially launched last night (5th June) Dubliners 100 is available now in all good bookshops.

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