Declared by their author to be a chapter in the moral history of Ireland, this collection of 15 tales offers vivid, tightly focused observations of the lives of Dublin's poorer classes. A fine and accessible introduction to the work of one of the 20th century's most influential writers, it includes a masterpiece of the short-story genre, "The Dead."
Rejected by multiple printers and publishers for its language - one of them had a particular aversion to the word 'bloody' - and coarse subject-matter, this collection of short stories shows Joyce's burgeoning prose style, his ability for painstaking reproduction of characters and images, and a hint of the thematic and structural features from his later work that would make his name as Ireland's greatest literary heir. These tales in which nothing much happens set a standard in modern literary fiction for a tight, controlled narrative that turned on singular moments rather than grand plots or twists.
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