Ireland has produced a host of great writers including four winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature – WB Yeats, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney.
Other illustrious names include Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, Sean O’Casey, James Joyce, Patrick Kavanagh, Edna O’Brien … and countless more.
It’s not clear why such a small country should punch above its weight in producing such an array of literary talent.
The country’s troubled history may be one factor – providing writers with both material and reasons to express themselves and the concerns of their contemporaries.
Here we outline the careers of some of Ireland’s greatest writers. We shall be adding many more names to the list over the coming weeks.