Frank O'Connor: Guests of the Nation

(2838 words)
  • Hilary Lennon (University College Cork)

Frank O’Connor’s collection of short stories, Guests of the Nation (1931), was conceptualised in his mind as a unified volume, for the book was to some extent modelled on George Moore’s The Untilled Field (1903) and James Joyce’s Dubliners (1914). Of the fifteen stories in the collection, all except the last four deal with the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War; the majority of the stories focus on the Civil War. As is evident from his writings in the 1920s, O’Connor was already drifting away from his pre-Treaty republicanism. By the time he wrote the stories for Guests of the Nation, O’Connor had managed to achieve an objective stance on the two wars, a…

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Lennon, Hilary. "Guests of the Nation". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 March 2011
[, accessed 30 November 2015.]