How have Irish autobiographers represented the changing relationship between the private self, the social world and the political narrative of the nation? How have they negotiated the forces of family, class, religion and sexuality? What are their preferred autobiographic modes? These are just some of the provocative questions explored in Modern Irish Autobiography: Self, Nation and Society, the first comprehensive analysis of the Irish autobiographical tradition from the nineteenth century to the present day. Featuring essays by distinguished scholars from Ireland, Britain and North America, this pioneering collection presents original, theoretically-informed readings of a wide range of texts, from John Mitchel's Jail Journal (1854) to John McGahern's Memoir (2005). The book contains historically contextualised chapters on topics such as women's autobiography, Gaelic life writing, Irish autobiographical fiction and Northern Irish political memoirs. Authors discussed include Augusta Gregory, James Joyce, Elizabeth Bowen, Sean O'Casey, Kate O'Brien, John McGahern and George O'Brien.