James Joyce’s Dubliners is an enthralling collection of modernist short stories which create a vivid picture of the day-to-day experience of Dublin life. This Penguin Classics edition includes notes and an introduction by Terence Brown.
Joyce’s first major work, written when he was only twenty-five, brought his city to the world for the first time. His stories are rooted in the rich detail of Dublin life, portraying ordinary, often defeated lives with unflinching realism. From ‘The Sisters’, a vivid portrait of childhood faith and guilt, to ‘Araby’, a timeless evocation of the inexplicable yearnings of adolescence, to ‘The Dead’, in which Gabriel Conroy is gradually brought to a painful epiphany regarding the nature of his existence, Joyce draws a realistic and memorable cast of Dubliners together in an powerful exploration of overarching themes. Writing of social decline, sexual desire and exploitation, corruption and personal failure, he creates a brilliantly compelling, unique vision of the world and of human experience.
James Joyce (1882-1941), the eldest of ten children, was born in Dublin, but exiled himself to Paris at twenty as a rebellion against his upbringing. He only returned to Ireland briefly from the continent but Dublin was at heart of his greatest works, Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. He lived in poverty until the last ten years of his life and was plagued by near blindness and the grief of his daughter’s mental illness.
If you enjoyed Dubliners, you might like Joyce’s Ulysses, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
‘Joyce redeems his Dubliners, assures their identity, and makes their social existence appear permanent and immortal, like the streets they walk’
‘Joyce’s early short stories remain undimmed in their brilliance’