Julian Moynahan is Professor of English Emeritus at Rutgers University. His most recent book is Anglo-Irish: The Literary Imagination in a Hyphenated Culture. (May 2000)


Not-So-Great Expectations

Angela's Ashes: A Memoir

by Frank McCourt

'Tis: A Memoir

by Frank McCourt
These three memoirs are works to end all memoirs—if only that were true! Now, at a time when every form of cultural and human difference claims the right to parade itself, everybody, it seems, has a story to tell and expects to tell it in print. The publishing industry is …

Trouble on the Mountain

The Deposition of Father McGreevy

by Brian O'Doherty
Brian O’Doherty is an art historian and critic who has taken to writing fiction during the past decade. As if this uncommon versatility were not enough he is reported on the jacket of this beautifully printed book to have graduated as a medical doctor from University College, Dublin. His novel …

Never Call a Boy a Pig

The Butcher Boy

by Patrick McCabe
During this century small town and village life in Ireland hasn’t lacked for literary detraction and exposé. In fiction the line begins with George Moore; his short stories, collected in The Untilled Field (1903), depict monotonous and stunted lives where the imaginative are stifled by entrenched convention and a mean …

Waiting for God in Inglenook

Wheat That Springeth Green

by J.F. Powers
Wheat That Springeth Green is J.F. Powers’s first novel in twenty-five years, his second altogether. The preceding one, Morte d’Urban, won the National Book Award; the new book was nominated for the same prize. In the twenty-five years between the two novels have appeared a number of short stories, some …

The Deceiving Conscience


by Bernard Mac Laverty

The Summoning

by Robert Towers
Both these novels by established writers are about people undergoing crises of conscience in circumstances of modern political and social turmoil. Young Cal Mc Crystal, the unemployed Belfast laborer of Cal, has done driving jobs for IRA hit men and feels directly implicated in the murder of a Protestant farmer …

Only in America

Children and Others

by James Gould Cozzens

Sometimes a Great Notion

by Ken Kesey
James Gould Cozzens’s serious critical reputation has been shaky since the publication of By Love Possessed in 1957 and this collection of seventeen stories, many published in Colliers and the Saturday Evening Post during the 1930s, will do nothing to strengthen it. He does not know much about how to …

Displaced Persons

I Was Dancing

by Edwin O'Connor

The Old Man and Me

by Elaine Dundy
The better novelists always seem to know how to make literary capital out of their limitations and incapacities. In writing I Was Dancing, probably his best book and one of the subtlest and most suggestive novels to come out of the Hub since The Bostonians, Edwin O’Connor, prose laureate of …