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Discover Irish Authors You Must Know

By ThriftBooks Team • March 10, 2022

Ireland is no stranger to being home to literary legends, which may partly explain why it's referred to as "The Land of Saints and Scholars." With St. Patrick's Day quickly approaching, what better time to honor these literary legends and highlight some of the best Irish authors?

Perhaps you want to expand your horizons a bit and discover new modern Irish authors you may not know, or maybe you want to be reminded of who some of the classics are. Whether you want to know famous Irish authors, female Irish authors, or Irish authors of any other genre, we want to introduce you to the Irish authors you must know.

Famous Irish Authors

  1. Maeve Binchy
    Anne Maeve Binchy Snell wrote novels, short stories, plays, columns, and more. She is most well-known for her novels portraying life in small-town Ireland in humorous, sincere, and sympathetic ways. Her excellently written surprise endings are also noteworthy. Check out The Return Journey, Firefly Summer, and Irish Girls About Town: An Anthology.
  2. C.S. Lewis
    Famed author of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and The Chronicles of Narnia series, C.S. Lewis is an Irish author who hardly needs an introduction. He gained acclaim as a children's book author and a science fiction writer, and he's also well-known for his popular apologetics like The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity. Other notable works by this famous Irish author include Prince Caspian, The Abolition of Man, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, and many others.
  3. Jonathan Swift
    Born in Ireland in 1667, Jonathan Swift is well-known for his political satire works, such as the famous A Modest Proposal. He is best known, however, for Gulliver's Travels. A Tale of a Tub and The Drapier's Letters are additional noteworthy titles by this famous Irish author.
  4. James Joyce
    James Joyce was an Irish poet, novelist, short story writer, and critic. Part of the modernist avant-garde movement, Joyce is regarded as one of the most influential and important writers of the 20th century. Perhaps his best known work, Ulysses, is a disillusioned study of estrangement, paralysis and the disintegration of society. We also recommend Dubliners, or, if you’re looking for a short story, The Dead.

Irish Female Authors

There's just something about Irish female authors. The following ladies are just a couple of the women of Ireland who have contributed remarkable works to the world of literature, and they need to be on your must-read list.

  1. Sally Rooney
    The winner of the Novel of the Year award at the Irish Books Awards in 2018 for Normal People, Sally Rooney rose to fame when that book was adapted into a television series by the BBC and Hulu in 2020. Other notable works include Beautiful World, Where are You, and Conversations with Friends.
  2. Anne Enright
    Born in Dublin, Anne Enright is best known for Actress and The Gathering. She is the author of many short story collections and a recipient of the esteemed Booker Prize. Other don't miss books by Anne Enright include The Forgotten Waltz, The Green Road, and Yesterday's Weather.

Modern Irish Authors

The following modern Irish authors prove that Ireland's reputation for being home to some of the world's most prolific writers remains strong today. Explore the following authors to find something new.

  1. Liz Nugent
    Winner of the 2014 Best Irish Book Award, Liz Nugent's most famous work Unraveling Oliver delves into the workings of a psychopathic mind. Her second novel, Lying in Wait, has also garnered numerous awards and accolades to add to her list of achievements. When you're looking into this esteemed Irish author, make sure to explore additional works like Skin Deep and Little Cruelties.
  2. Colm Tóibín
    An Irish essayist, journalist, critic, and novelist, Colm Tóibín was honored in 2019 with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Irish Book Awards. He is best known for his works depicting personal identity and Irish society. The Master, Brooklyn, Mother and Sons, All Over Ireland, and The South are some recommendations by this esteemed Irish writer.

Find the Best Irish Authors

Whether you're looking for modern authors, female authors, or the classics, we have the best selection of Irish authors available at ThriftBooks! Can't decide which author to try first? Sign up for our ReadingRewards program and earn points for free books on every dollar spent! Read more and spend less with ThriftBooks.

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