The Greatest Books Written by Irish Authors

  1. 1 . Ulysses by James Joyce

    Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. The title parallels and alludes to Odysseus (Latinised into Ulysses), the hero of Homer's Odyss...

  2. 2 . A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialized in The Egoist from 1914 to 1915 and published in book form in 1916. It depicts the formativ...

  3. 3 . Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

    As its title suggests, the book is ostensibly Tristram's narration of his life story. But it is one of the central jokes of the novel that he cannot explain anything simply, that he must make expla...

  4. 4 . Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

    Waiting for Godot (pronounced /ˈɡɒdoʊ/) is a play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for someone named Godot. Godot's absence, as well as numerous other aspects...

  5. 5 . Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats by W. B. Yeats

    William Butler Yeats was an Irish poet, dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature.

  6. 6 . Dracula by Bram Stoker

    Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, featuring as its primary antagonist the vampire Count Dracula. Dracula has been attributed to many literary genres including vampire literat...

  7. 7 . The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

    Celebrated novel traces the moral degeneration of a handsome young Londoner from an innocent fop into a cruel and reckless pursuer of pleasure and, ultimately, a murderer. As Dorian Gray sinks into...

  8. 8 . Dubliners by James Joyce

    Dubliners is a collection of 15 short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. The fifteen stories were meant to be a naturalistic depiction of the Irish middle class life in and around Dub...

  9. 9 . Molloy by Samuel Beckett

    Molloy is a novel by Samuel Beckett. The English translation is by Beckett and Patrick Bowles.

  10. 10 . Malone Dies by Samuel Beckett

    Malone Dies is a novel by Samuel Beckett. It was first published in 1951, in French, as Malone Meurt, and later translated into English by the author.

  11. 11 . Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

    Having done the longest day in literature with his monumental Ulysses (1922), James Joyce set himself an even greater challenge for his next book — the night. "A nocturnal state.... That is what I ...

  12. 12 . The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett

    The Unnamable is a 1953 novel by Samuel Beckett. It is the third and final entry in Beckett's "Trilogy" of novels, which begins with Molloy followed by Malone Dies. It was originally published in F...

  13. 13 . The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen

    The Death of the Heart is a 1938 novel by Elizabeth Bowen set between the two world wars. It is about a sixteen year old orphan, Portia Quayne, who moves to London to live with her half-brother Tho...

  14. 14 . Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers

    A simple invitation to join his friend Davies on a yachting expedition in the Baltic is the beginning of an extraordinary and dangerous adventure for the bored and worldly but clever Carruthers. As...

  15. 15 . Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw

    Pygmalion is a play by George Bernard Shaw, named after a Greek mythological character. It was first presented on stage to the public in 1912. Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that ...

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  16. 16 . Amongst Women by John McGahern

    Amongst Women is a novel by the Irish author John McGahern (1934-2006). The novel tells the story of Michael Moran, a bitter, ageing Irish Republican Army (IRA) veteran, and his tyranny over his wi...

  17. 17 . The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell

    The Siege of Krishnapur is a novel by the author J. G. Farrell, published in 1973. Inspired by events such as the sieges of Cawnpore and Lucknow, the book details the siege of a fictional Indian t...

  18. 18 . Murphy by Samuel Beckett

    Edited by J. C. C. Mays Murphy, Samuel Beckett's first novel, was published in 1938. Its work-shy eponymous hero, adrift in London, realises that desire can never be satisfied and withdraws from li...

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  19. 19 . Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

    Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (1993) is a novel by Irish writer Roddy Doyle. It won the Booker Prize in 1993. The story is about a 10 year old boy and events that happen within his age group. He also has t...

  20. 20 . At Swim Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien

    At Swim-Two-Birds is a 1939 novel by Irish author Brian O'Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O'Brien. It is widely considered to be O'Brien's masterpiece, and one of the most sophisticated ex...

  21. 21 . The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien

    The Country Girls is a trilogy by Irish author Edna O'Brien. It consists of three novels: The Country Girls (1960), The Lonely Girl (1962), and Girls in Their Married Bliss (1964). The trilogy was ...

  22. 22 . Krapp's Last Tape by Samuel Beckett

    Krapp's Last Tape was first performed by Patrick Magee at the Royal Court Theatre in October 1958, and has since been played by a host of distinguished actors including Albert Finney and Max Wall. ...

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  23. 23 . The Gathering by Anne Enright

    The Gathering is the fourth novel by Irish author Anne Enright. It won the 2007 Man Booker Prize. The novel traces the narrator's inner journey, setting out to derive meaning from past and prese...

  24. 24 . The Sea by John Banville

    The Sea (2005) is the eighteenth novel by Irish author John Banville. The story is told by Max Morden, a self-aware, retired art historian attempting to reconcile himself to the deaths of those ...

  25. 25 . The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

    The Importance of Being Earnest, A Trivial Comedy for Serious People is a play by Oscar Wilde. First performed on 14 February 1895 at the St James's Theatre in London, it is a farcical comedy in wh...

  26. 26 . Endgame by Samuel Beckett

    Endgame, by Samuel Beckett, is a one-act play with four characters, written in a style associated with the Theatre of the Absurd. It was originally written in French (entitled Fin de partie); as wa...

  27. 27 . The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell, Peter Miles

    This novel tells the story of a group of working men who are joined one day by Owen, a journeyman-prophet with a vision of a just society. Owen's spirited attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the...

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  28. 28 . The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien

    The Third Policeman is a novel by Irish author Brian O'Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O'Brien. It was written between 1939 and 1940, but after it initially failed to find a publisher, the...

  29. 29 . The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen

    Set in war-time London, this book is probably the nearest thing to a novel of suspense that Elizabeth Bowen has written. All the elements of a thriller are here, but what Bowen makes of them is an ...

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  30. 30 . Watt by Samuel Beckett

    Written in Roussillon during World War Two, while Samuel Beckett was hiding from the Gestapo, Watt was first published in 1953. Beckett acknowledged that this comic novel unlike any other 'has its ...

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  31. 31 . The Horse's Mouth by Joyce Cary

    Joyce Cary wrote two trilogies, or 'triptychs' as he later called them, and both are Faber Finds. The first comprises Herself Surprised (1941), To Be a Pilgrim (1942) and The Horse's Mouth (1944). ...

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  32. 32 . Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw

    Saint Joan is a play by George Bernard Shaw, based on the life and trial of Joan of Arc. Published not long after the canonization of Joan of Arc by the Roman Catholic Church, the play dramatises b...

  33. 33 . The Van by Roddy Doyle

    Jimmy Rabbitte Senior pulls himself out of a mid-life crisis when he purchases a greasy fish-and-chip van and sells grub to Dublin's drunk and hungry during the heady days of Ireland's triumphs in ...

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  34. 34 . Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

    Days Without End is the seventh novel by Sebastian Barry and is set during the Indian Wars and American Civil War.

  35. 35 . She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith

    The action of She Stoops to Conquer (1773) is largely confined to a night and a day in Squire Hardcastle's somewhat dilapidated country house: Young Marlow, on his way there to meet the bride his f...

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  36. 36 . Uncle Silas by Sheridan Le Fanu

    Uncle Silas, subtitled "A Tale of Bartram-Haugh", is a Victorian Gothic mystery-thriller novel by the Irish writer J. Sheridan Le Fanu. Despite Le Fanu resisting its classification as such, the nov...

  37. 37 . To the North by Elizabeth Bowen

    A young woman’s secret love affair leads to a violent and tragic act in one of Elizabeth Bowen’s most acclaimed novels. To the North centers on two young women in 1920s London, the recently widowed...

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  38. 38 . The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith

    The Vicar of Wakefield – subtitled A Tale, Supposed to be written by Himself – is a novel by Irish writer Oliver Goldsmith (1728–1774). It was written from 1761 to 1762 and published in 1766. It wa...

  39. 39 . Some Experiences of an Irish R. M. by Edith Somerville, Violet Florence Martin

    The Irish R.M. refers to a series of books by the Anglo-Irish novelists Somerville and Ross, and the television comedy-drama series based on them. They are set in the turn-of-the-twentieth-century ...

  40. 40 . The Bitter Glass by Eilís Dillon

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  41. 41 . Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin

    Melmoth the Wanderer is an 1820 Gothic novel by Irish playwright, novelist and clergyman Charles Maturin. The novel's titular character is a scholar who sold his soul to the devil in exchange for 1...

  42. 42 . Eva Trout by Elizabeth Bowen

    Eva Trout is Elizabeth Bowen's final novel and was shortlisted for the 1970 Booker Prize. First published in 1968, it is about a young woman—the eponymous heroine—who, abandoned by her mother just ...

  43. 43 . A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy by Laurence Sterne

    A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy is a novel by Laurence Sterne, written and first published in 1768, as Sterne was facing death. In 1765, Sterne travelled through France and Italy as ...

  44. 44 . Girl With Green Eyes by Edna O'Brien

    A classic title in Edna O'Brien's Country Girls Trilogy - the second volume From eccentric Joanna's boarding house, predatory Baba roams Dublin looking for men to give her a good time - and draggin...

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  45. 45 . The Master by Colm Tóibín

    The Master is a novel by Irish writer Colm Tóibín. It is his fifth novel and it was shortlisted for the 2004 Booker Prize and received the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Stonewall B...

  46. 46 . In a Glass Darkly by Sheridan Le Fanu

    In a Glass Darkly is a collection of five short stories by Sheridan Le Fanu, first published in 1872, the year before his death. The second and third are revised versions of previously published st...

  47. 47 . Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth

    Castle Rackrent is a short novel by Maria Edgeworth published in 1800, one of the few of Edgeworth's novels which her father did not “edit”.Shortly before its publication, an introduction, glossary...

  48. 48 . The Singapore Grip by J. G. Farrell

    The Singapore Grip is a novel by J. G. Farrell. It was published in 1978, a year before his death. In 2015, The Straits Times' Akshita Nanda selected The Singapore Grip as one of 10 classic Singap...

  49. 49 . The Charwoman's Daughter by James Stephens

    The Charwoman's Daughter is the strange wistful story of sixteen-year-old Mary, the only child of her fiercely protective, widowed mother.... Mary and her mother live in a one-room tenement flat th...

  50. 50 . The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe

    The Butcher Boy is a 1992 novel by Patrick McCabe. Set in a small town in Ireland in the early 1960s, it tells the story of Francis "Francie" Brady, a schoolboy who retreats into a violent fantasy ...

  51. 51 . The Collected Plays of W.B. Yeats by William Butler Yeats

    Collects all of the Nobel laureate's published plays and includes additional notes and criticisms.

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  52. 52 . The Wild Swans at Coole by William Butler Yeats

    The Wild Swans at Coole is the name of two collections of poetry by W. B. Yeats, published in 1917 and 1919.

  53. 53 . The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore

    The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne is an unflinching and deeply sympathetic portrait of a woman destroyed by self and circumstance. First published in 1955, it marked Brian Moore as a major figure...

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  54. 54 . Strumpet City by James Plunkett

    Strumpet City is a 1969 historical novel by James Plunkett set in Dublin, Ireland, around the time of the 1913 Dublin Lock-out. In 1980, it was adapted into a successful TV drama by Hugh Leonard fo...

  55. 55 . The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

    'Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America. And other things are probably better off left alone' Nine-year-old Bruno has a lot of things...

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  56. 56 . City of Bohane by Kevin Barry

    City of Bohane is the debut novel by Ireland's Kevin Barry. The book is set in the year 2053, in a world with minimal technology. It received largely positive reviews and won the 2013 Internation...

  57. 57 . The Commitments by Roddy Doyle

    This funky, rude, unpretentious first novel traces the short, funny, and furious career of a group of working-class Irish kids who form a band, The Commitments. Their mission: to bring soul to Dublin!

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  58. 58 . Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

    Twelve-year-old Artemis is a millionaire, a genius-and above all, a criminal mastermind. But Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Uni...

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  59. 59 . The Ginger Man by J. P. Donleavy

    It follows the often racy misadventures of Sebastian Dangerfield, a young American living in Dublin with his English wife and infant daughter and studying law at Trinity College. This book may b...

  60. 60 . Candida: a Pleasant Play by George Bernard Shaw

    Candida, a comedy by playwright George Bernard Shaw, was written in 1894 and first published in 1898, as part of his Plays Pleasant. The central characters are clergyman James Morell, his wife Cand...

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  61. 61 . Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

  62. 62 . Let the Great World Spin: A Novel by Colum McCann

    In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is runnin...

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  63. 63 . The House Of Splendid Isolation by Edna O'Brien

    Josie, the ailing, elderly inhabitant of an Irish country mansion, dwells in the shadowy world of remembered pain and loneliness. McGreevy, the terrorist, reintroduces the possibility of compassion...

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  64. 64 . Normal People by Sally Rooney

    Normal People is the second novel by Irish author Sally Rooney.

  65. 65 . Milkman by Anna Burns

    Milkman is a novel written by Anna Burns. It won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the first time a Northern Irish writer has been awarded the prize. It also won the 2018 National Book Critics...

  66. 66 . The Heather Blazing by Colm Toibin

    Eamon Redmond is a judge in Ireland’s high court, a completely legal creature who is just beginning to discover how painfully unconnected he is from other human beings. With effortless fluency, Col...

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  67. 67 . The Green Road by Anne Enright

    The Green Road is a 2015 novel by Irish author Anne Enright. It is the sixth novel by Enright and concerns the lives of the Madigan family - four children and their mother Rosaleen. A critical succ...

  68. 68 . Human Chain by Seamus Heaney

    Human Chain (2010) is the twelfth and final poetry collection by Seamus Heaney, who received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. It won the Forward Poetry Prize Best Collection 2010 award, the Iris...

  69. 69 . That They May Face the Rising Sun by John McGahern

    Joe and Kate Ruttledge, have come to rural Ireland from London in search of a different life. In passages of beauty and truth, the drama of a year in their lives and those of the memorable characte...

  70. 70 . The Statement by Brian Moore

    The hunt is on for an elusive Nazi war criminal in this “absorbing intellectual thriller that keeps you guessing . . . until the final page” (The New York Times). For four decades Pierre Brossard h...

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  71. 71 . The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry

    The Secret Scripture is a 2008 novel written by Irish playwright Sebastian Barry.

  72. 72 . William Trevor: The Collected Stories by William Trevor

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  73. 73 . The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

    The Lesser Bohemians is the second novel by Eimear McBride. It was published on 1 September 2016 and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 2017.

  74. 74 . District and Circle by Seamus Heaney

    District and Circle (2006) is a collection of poems written by Irish Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. It is the poet's most recent volume, published forty years after his debut Death of a Naturalist, ...

  75. 75 . The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney

    The Spirit Level (1996) is a collection of poems written by Irish Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. Featuring such poems as "Two Lorries", it won the Whitbread Prize for Literature.

  76. 76 . The Children of Dynmouth by William Trevor

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  77. 77 . The Old Jest by Jennifer Johnston

  78. 78 . The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell

    Lexie Sinclair is plotting an extraordinary life for herself. Hedged in by her parents' genteel country life, she plans her escape to London. There, she takes up with Innes Kent, a magazine editor ...

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  79. 79 . Felicia's Journey by William Trevor

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  80. 80 . Fools of Fortune by William Trevor

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  81. 81 . Silver City by Maurice Leitch

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