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The Long Gaze Back – An Anthology of Irish Women Writers (Paperback)

The Long Gaze Back – An Anthology of Irish Women Writers (Paperback)
  • The Long Gaze Back - An Anthology of Irish Women Writers


Now available in paperback!

The Long Gaze Back, edited by Sinéad Gleeson, is an exhilarating anthology of thirty short stories by some of the most gifted women writers this island has ever produced.

Niamh Boyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Maeve Brennan, Mary Costello, June Caldwell, Lucy Caldwell, Evelyn Conlon, Anne Devlin, Maria Edgeworth, Anne Enright, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Norah Hoult, Mary Lavin, Eimear McBride, Molly McCloskey, Bernie McGill, Lisa McInerney, Belinda McKeon, Siobhán Mannion, Lia Mills, Nuala Ní Chonchúir, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Kate O’Brien, Roisín O’Donnell, E.M. Reapy, Charlotte Riddell, Eimear Ryan, Anakana Schofield, Somerville & Ross, Susan Stairs.

Taken together, the collected works of these writers reveal an enrapturing, unnerving, and piercingly beautiful mosaic of a lively literary landscape. Spanning four centuries, The Long Gaze Back features 8 rare stories from deceased luminaries and forerunners, and 22 new stories by some of the most talented Irish women writers working today. The anthology presents an inclusive and celebratory portrait of the high calibre of contemporary literature in Ireland.

These stories run the gamut from heartbreaking to humorous, but each leaves a lasting impression. They chart the passions, obligations, trials and tribulations of a variety of vividly-drawn characters with unflinching honesty and relentless compassion. These are stories to savour.


‘It is impossible to mention all of the stories here. The feisty, fabulously angrily funny Lisa McInerny doesn’t disappoint; neither does deep dark Nuala Ní Chonchúir. Ní Chonchúir’s story overcomes my usual suspicion of historical settings – she “took me there” to paraphrase the title of Niamh Boyce’s strangled heart-breaker. Mannion’s story is one of the quieter ones, but its pitch-perfect pulse really stayed with me… it is a great pleasure to come across the likes of Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Anne Devlin, Evelyn Conlon and Christine Dwyer Hickey, who have been writing their fine stories since it was “neither popular or profitable”…The Long Gaze Back is a substantial harvest, a seriously comprehensive and celebratory volume.’ – The Irish Times

‘There’s nothing girly about these stories; there are no cliches, no Mr Rights, no wedding bells, no evenings with Chardonnay. Instead, this collection represents the richness of women’s lives, past and present. The joy, the compassion, the anger, the sadness. It’s all there.’ – Sunday Independent

”The overwhelming majority of stories in this collection are vibrant, profound and absorbing – strong evidence of what Gleeson calls “a palpable energy in Irish writing”, and proof that, despite their exclusion from the anthologies of the bad old days, women writers have always been, and remain, at the heart of the Irish literary tradition.’ – Sunday Business Post

The Long Gaze Back blasts open the tunnel vision often applied to Irish literature and is a welcome addition to bookshelves, both academic and domestic.’ – We Love This Book

Excellent and necessary’. – Irish Independent

‘I loved The Long Gaze Back, an anthology of short stories by Irish women writers. In the year of ‘Waking The Feminists’ and a national conversation about the exclusion of female voices from the artistic canon, Sinéad Gleeson’s decision to create and edit this collection seems eerily prescient.’ – Louise O’Neill, Irish Independent

‘A refreshing and enlightening collection’. – Herald

 ‘Epic in its scope and ambition’. – RTÉ Guide

‘These are stories to be savoured and enjoyed. They invite you to seek out more work by these talented authors as each story is proceeded by a biographical brief that lists the authors’ other publications. And I do now feel compelled to read much more by these writers…This is an anthology with many different points that you can spring off from, but it’s also an important book with tremendous scope to be savoured by itself.’ – Lonesome Reader

About the Editor

Sinéad Gleeson is a broadcaster and critic who presents The Book Show on RTE Radio 1. She writes about arts and culture, and reviews books for The Irish Times. In 2012, she edited the short story anthology, Silver Threads of Hope, and is the editor of The Long Gaze Back: an Anthology of Irish Women Writers to be published by New Island in Autumn 2015.


Sinéad Gleeson


C-Format, Paperback





Release Date

September 2016


Additional Information

Weight .400 g
Dimensions .215 × .135 × .18 mm


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