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date: 22 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the ways in which Northern Irish women’s fiction written during and after the Troubles explores difficult and contentious themes, particularly those relating to emotional and sexual relationships conducted against the backdrop or memory of murderous violence. It argues that this body of fiction puts forward a critique that, while not always a direct comment on the politics of combat, represents a subtle intervention in the cultural life of the province. Focusing on works composed during the early 1980s and those published between 2006 and 2016, the analysis pays particular attention to the ways in which Northern Irish women’s fiction unsettles the masculinist ideologies of nationalism and unionism. The discussion engages with a range of novels, from the Troubles writing of Linda Anderson, Brenda Murphy, and Anne Devlin through to more recent work by Lucy Caldwell, Bernie McGill, and Jan Carson.

Keywords: Northern Ireland, women’s fiction, the Troubles, sexual intimacy, violence, fear

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