The dictionary will make an important contribution to the knowledge of writing in Munster in both Irish and English over the past 200 years. The dictionary has entries on 560 writers, including 220 in Irish. Each entry contains a bibliographical note, a list of key references, and a bibliography where applicable.
Advances literary and cultural as distinct from primarily historical research on the region of Munster over the last two centuries. Enables a new view, as awhole, of the work of women writers, juxtaposes the work of Irish, English-language, and bilingual writers, and thereby helps to develop an understanding of the province of Munster as a diverse cultural milieu, and focus on the role of regionality in the process of cultural creation.
Essays by Patricia Coughlan and Eibhear Walshe (on the English language entries), and by Gearoidín NicCarthaigh and Sile Ní Chochlain (on those in Irish) introduce the material and explain the editorial principles and choices that shaped the compilation.The subjects range from well-known figures like Kate O'Brien or Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill, to a host of forgotten or neglected writers, singers or storytellers, and some brought to public notice for the first time. The Dictionary interprets writers very broadly, and includes unpublished diaries, journals, and letters, together with plays, documentaries, film-scripts and journalism, cookery books and manuals, as well as fiction and poetry. Many of the Irish language entries relate to contributions to the folk and song traditions rather to more conventional forms of writing. The project has been devised, in part, as a feminist recovery of women's writing, especially over periods when the surrounding society and culture had a distinctly patriarchal character (and women, for example, often wrote under male pen-names or anonymously), but it also offers a rich source work for those interested in local or regional identities, and a wide range of literary issues and figures. In conjunction with (and profoundly influenced by) the Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Irish Womens' Writing and Traditions, this Dictionary will stimulate further research and inquiry and be an indispensable source book for many decades to come.