Three Irish Female Writers To Pay Attention To

Ireland has a long-standing literary tradition and is a country that values its writers and poets. Over the years, I have read many inspiring novels by the likes of Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and others. But recently, I have found myself on a kick of reading contemporary Irish novelists without even realizing it! These newer-on-the-scene Irish female writers are making their mark in the literary world.

Ireland | Church Ruins | Graveyard | To Make Much of Time


Normal People by Sally Rooney - This novel for the modern age by up-and-comer Rooney (born in 1991) deals with the complexity of class and generation. It is most likely to appeal to adults in their 20s and 30s given the subject matter as a coming-of-age novel. Read our more detailed review of it here.


Himself by Jess Kidd - This contemporary (2016) Irish mystery was both short- and long-listed for a few awards. While the genre of the book is definitely ‘mystery’ - it’s not your typical mystery novel and is much more literary in style. The book evokes the haunting, Wuthering Heights-esque feeling that feels part-and-parcel of the Irish landscape and culture. This was a book that I couldn't put down!

Donegal Ireland | Bay | To Make Much of Time

Milkman by Anna Burns - This contemporary novel won the 2018 Man Booker Prize in Fiction and covers the Northern Ireland situation. Readers typically either love it or hate it (I loved it), and the best way to decide if it is for you is to answer this question: Do you like ridiculously long sentences in a stream-of-consciousness style (a la Virginia Woolf and James Joyce)? If yes, this book is for you. If not, skip it!

New Jersey | Country Road | Split Rail Fence | To Make Much of Time

Looking for a contemporary American novel?

Check out our review of Barbara Kingsolver’s newest novel Unsheltered.