Between Shadows: Modern Irish Writing and Culture


John Wilson Foster

The sequel to the  acclaimed Colonial Consequences (1991) this is a wide-ranging encounter with modern Irish culture and modern Irish writers such as Wilde, Yeats, Joyce, Martin McDonagh, Tim Robinson, Conor McPherson, and Sebastian Barry.

ISBN: 9780716530060 Categories: ,


Now available in paperback, Between Shadows is a sequel to John Wilson Foster’s acclaimed Colonial Consequences (1991) and, like its predecessor, is a wide-ranging encounter with modern Irish writers and modern Irish culture.

Among the writers are Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, James Joyce, Martin McDonagh, Tim Robinson, Conor McPherson, and Sebastian Barry.

The wartime Ulster literary scene, the celebration of Bloomsday, Irish nationalism, and the Great War are among the cultural episodes and phenomena the author engages with in this varied set of critical engagements.

From the foreword by Edna Longley: “If Irish literary and cultural criticism has taken off since the 1970s – and it has – John Wilson Foster is one of the main reasons. He has widened its conceptual horizon, provoked new debates, redefined old debates, and helped to make other critics as historically conscious as he is himself.”

Table of Contents


Not on the Text


I.) Writers

  1. Emblems of Diversity: Yeats and the Great War
  2. The Islandman: The Teller and the Tale
  3. Against Nature? Science and Oscar Wilde
  4. The Weir: Inheriting the Wind
  5. Stretching the Imagination: Some Trevor Novels
  6. ‘All the Long Traditions’: Loyalty in Barry and Ishiguro
  7. Virtual Islands: Martin McDonagh
  8. Revisitations: Criticism and Benedict Kiely
  9. The Autocartograhy of Tim Robinson

II.) Writing and Culture

  1. Strangford Lough and its Writers
  2. Blackbird
  3. Guests of the Nation
  4. Getting the North: Yeats and Northern Nationalism
  5. Was there Ulster Literary Life before Heaney?
  6. Bloomsday’s Joyce
  7. Between Two Shadows: Kettle, Lynd and the Great War


About the Author

Professor John Wilson Foster is in the Department of English, University of British Columbia, Canada. He has written 14 books including Irish Novels 1890-1940: New Bearings in Culture and Fiction (Oxford University Press 2008), The Cambridge Companion to the Irish Novel (Cambridge University Press 2006) and Colonial Consequences: Essays in Irish Literature and Culture (1991).