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Anna Leszkiewicz on Irish Essayists

In the latest issue of the New Statesman, Anna Leszkiewicz surveys the boom in collections of personal essays by emerging writers in Ireland:

To see so many literary writers make their debuts with personal essays is rare, especially in the Irish scene, which has long privileged fiction. While Tramp Press was set up as a publisher of Irish fiction (its website’s submissions page still politely insists “fiction only, please!”), founders Sarah Davis-Goff and Lisa Coen decided to make exceptions for [Emilie] Pine and [Ian] Maleney. …

“The idea of launching a writing career with a collection of essays would have been all but incomprehensible for an ambitious Irish writer until very recently,” writes the Dublin Review editor Brendan Barrington, who published early versions of essays from [Kevin] Breathnach and Maleney. Not so today. “The species ‘Irish essayist’, long critically endangered, is now in rude health.”