Back to class: Ireland’s working-class literature

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Irish working-class history and writing are attracting increasing academic interest, and rightly so. With the recent publication of the 22-chapter A History of Irish Working-Class Writing (Cambridge University Press), a leading luminary in the Irish Studies field, Declan Kiberd, could write that that volume’s focus on “an astonishing range of writing – from work-songs and political rhymes to poetry and government reports, from novels and plays to biographies by or about working people”, would “set many of the terms of cultural debate in the decade to come”. This article by Michael Pierse explores the significance of Irish working-class writing.

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