Spring 1999 • Vol. XXI No. 2 Book ReviewsApril 1, 1999 |

Imagining Ireland: R. F. Foster’s “W. B. Yeats: A Life” and the ‘New’ Irish Renaissance

W.B. Yeats: A Life Volume I: The Apprentice Mage, 1865-1914 by R.F. Foster. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. 640 pages. $35, cloth. I. The Irish Are Hot in the U.S. Again" proclaimed a New York Times headline not long ago, and they got hotter this spring when the Washington Post Book World declared the advent of "Another Celtic Renaissance," dedicating the entire issue to reviews of new Irish writing. Of course the evidence is everywhere, not just in Seamus Heaney's 1995 Nobel Prize, but in the sweep of British theater prizes in 1996 by newcomer Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane or in Roddy Doyle's 1993 Booker Prize-winning novel, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha; not only in the music of U2, Clannad, or the Chieftains, but also in that of the Sawdoctors and Altan; not only in box office hits like Neil Jordan's The Crying Game or Jim Sheridan's The Boxer, but in dozens of beautifully textured and shaded smaller works by these and other directors at the heart of a bur

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Kim McMullen has been a member of the Kenyon English department since 1984, teaching courses in twentieth-century Irish literature, postmodern narrative, American modernism, American studies and James Joyce. Interested in the intersection of gender and nationality in contemporary Irish culture, she is currently completing a book entitled "Decolonizing Rosaleen: Gender, Sexuality, and Nationality in Contemporary Irish Literature and Film." Other research interests include the Irish literary heritage industry, the poetry of Eavan Boland and recent Irish fiction.

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