What constitutes a 'national literature' is rarely straightforward, and it is especially complex when discussing writing for young people in an Irish context. Until recently, there was only a slight body of work that could be classified as 'Irish children's literature' (whatever the parameters) in comparison with Ireland's contribution to adult literature in the twentieth century. This volume looks critically at Irish writing for children from the 1980s to the present, examining the work of many writers and illustrators and engaging with all the major forms and genres. Topics include the gothic, the speculative, picturebooks, poetry, post-colonial discourse, identity and ethnicity, and globalization. Modern Irish children's literature is also contextualized in relation to Irish mythology and earlier writings, thereby demonstrating the complexity of this fascinating area. The contributors, who are leading experts in their fields, examine a range of texts in relation to contemporary literary and cultural theory, and also in relation to writing for adults, thereby inviting a consideration of how well writing for a young audience can compare with writing for an adult one. This groundbreaking work is essential reading for all interested in Irish literature, childhood, and children's literature.

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