Ageing in Irish Writing

Strangers to Themselves

  • Heather Ingman

About this book


Age is a missing category in Irish literary criticism and this book is the first to explore a range of familiar and not so familiar Irish texts through a gerontological lens. Drawing on the latest writing in humanistic, critical and cultural gerontology, this study examines the portrayal of ageing in fiction by Elizabeth Bowen, Molly Keane, Deirdre Madden, Anne Enright, Iris Murdoch, John Banville, John McGahern, Norah Hoult and Edna O’Brien, among others. The chapters follow a logical thematic progression from efforts to hold back time, to resisting the decline narrative of ageing, solitary ageing versus ageing in the community, and dementia and the world of the bedbound and dying. One chapter analyses the changing portrayal of older people in the Irish short story. Recent demographic shifts in Ireland have focused attention on an increasing ageing population, making this study a timely intervention in the field of literary gerontology.


Gerontology Oscar Wilde W. B. Yeats John McGahern Elizabeth Bowen Iris Murdoch John Banville Molly Keane Anne Enright Deirdre Madden

Authors and affiliations

  • Heather Ingman
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EnglishTrinity College DublinDublinIreland

Bibliographic information