A Severed Space: The Suburbs of South Dublin in Contemporary Irish Fiction

  • Liam Lanigan
Part of the New Directions in Irish and Irish American Literature book series (NDIIAL)


This chapter focuses on the interrelations between geography, space, and identity in contemporary fictional representations of the south Dublin suburbs in the work of Barry McCrea, Kevin Power, and Justin Quinn. It argues that the affluent and culturally powerful south Dublin suburbs have always had a particular importance in the Irish imagination, dating back to the nineteenth century. During the Celtic Tiger period, the apparent economic and cultural detachment of these suburbs, not only from the rest of Ireland but also from the rest of Dublin, became exacerbated in the public mind, albeit in complex and nuanced ways which, it is argued here, often ironically draws attention to this same sense of detachment as ‘illusory’.

Works Cited

  1. Bannon, Michael J., ‘The Greater Dublin Region: Planning for Its Transformation and Development’, in Dublin: Contemporary Trends and Issues for the Twenty-First Century, ed. by James Killen and Andrew MacLaran (Dublin: Geographical Society of Ireland, 1999), pp. 1–19.Google Scholar
  2. Borges, Jorge Luis, Collected Fictions, trans. by Andrew Hurley (New York: Penguin, 1998).Google Scholar
  3. Brennan, Maeve, The Springs of Affection (London: Flamingo, 2000).Google Scholar
  4. Doyle, Rob, Here Are the Young Men (Dublin: Lilliput, 2014).Google Scholar
  5. Enright, Anne, The Gathering (Dublin: Jonathan Cape, 2007).Google Scholar
  6. Gough, Julian, ‘The State of Irish Literature 2010’. [accessed 25 April 2017].
  7. Harvey, David, The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change (London: Blackwell, 1992).Google Scholar
  8. ———, Spaces of Hope (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California, 2000).Google Scholar
  9. Haverty, Anne, The Free and Easy (Dublin: Howes, 2006).Google Scholar
  10. Joyce, James, Dubliners: Text, Criticism and Notes, ed. by Robert Scholes and A. Walton Litz (New York: Viking, 1967).Google Scholar
  11. ———, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, ed. by Jeri Johnson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).Google Scholar
  12. Kauko, Tom, Urban Housing Patterns in a Tide of Change: Spatial Structure and Residential Property Values in Budapest in a Comparative Perspective (Amsterdam: IOS, 2006).Google Scholar
  13. Lanigan, Liam, James Joyce, Urban Planning and Irish Modernism: Dublins of the Future (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).Google Scholar
  14. MacLeod, Gordon, and Kevin Ward, ‘Spaces of Utopia and Dystopia: Landscaping the Contemporary City’, Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography, 84.3/4 (2002), 153–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. McCarron, E.G., County of Dublin—Development Plan Review Working Paper No. 2: The Planning Issues (Dublin: Dublin County Council Planning Department, 1987).Google Scholar
  16. McCrea, Barry, The First Verse (Dingle: Brandon, 2008).Google Scholar
  17. Moore, George, A Drama in Muslin: A Realistic Novel, intro. by A. Norman Jeffares (London: Colin Smythe, 1981).Google Scholar
  18. ———, Parnell and His Island, ed. and intro. by Carla King (Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2004).Google Scholar
  19. Murray, Paul, Skippy Dies (London: Penguin, 2011).Google Scholar
  20. Ní Dhuibhne, Éilís, Fox, Swallow, Scarecrow (Belfast: Blackstaff, 2007).Google Scholar
  21. Peillon, Michel, ‘The Making of the Dublin Conurbation’, in Place and Non-place: the Reconfiguration of Ireland, ed. by Michel Peillon and Mary P. Corcoran (Dublin: Institute of Public Administration, 2004), pp. 167–178.Google Scholar
  22. Power, Kevin, Bad Day in Blackrock (Dublin: Lilliput, 2008).Google Scholar
  23. Prunty, Jacinta, Dublin Slums 1800–1925: A Study in Urban Geography (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 1998).Google Scholar
  24. Quinn, Justin, Mount Merrion (Dublin: Penguin, 2013).Google Scholar
  25. Ridgway, Keith, The Parts (London: Faber and Faber, 2003).Google Scholar
  26. Sorkin, Michael, ‘Introduction: Variations on a Theme Park’, in Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space, ed. by Michael Sorkin (New York: Hill and Wang, 1992), pp. xi–xv.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liam Lanigan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of English, Speech, and Foreign LanguagesTexas Woman’s UniversityDentonUSA

Personalised recommendations