Bonaccorso, Richard. Seán O’Faoláin’s Irish Vision. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987. An excellent study that places O’Faoláin and his work in a social and literary context. His readings of the stories are thorough and ingenious, if not always convincing.
Butler, Pierce. Seán O’Faoláin: A Study of the Short Fiction. New York: Twayne, 1993. An introduction to O’Faoláin’s short fiction in which Butler claims that O’Faoláin shifts from an early focus on individuals in conflict with repressive Irish forces to more universal human conflicts. Examines O’Faoláin’s realistic style and narrative voice as it changes throughout his career. Includes O’Faoláin’s comments on the short story, some contemporary reviews, and three previously published critical studies.
Davenport, Guy. “Fiction Chronicle.” The Hudson Review 32 (1979): 139-150. In a review article, Davenport has high praise for O’Faoláin’s ability as a writer of short fiction. He finds the central themes of the stories to be the Irish character and Irish Catholicism.
Doyle, Paul A. Sean O’Faoláin. New York: Twayne, 1968. A life and works study of O’Faoláin in the Twayne series. It is good on the novels and the literary context in which O’Faoláin wrote but only adequate on the short fiction.
Hanley, Katherine. “The Short Stories of Seán O’Faoláin: Theory and Practice.” Eire-Ireland 6 (1971): 3-11. An excellent introduction to O’Faoláin’s stories. Hanley briefly sketches the theoretical base of the stories and then traces the development of O’Faoláin from the early romantic stories to the more sophisticated ones.
Harmon, Maurice. Seán O’Faoláin. London: Constable, 1994. Harmon first analyzes O’Faoláin’s biographies on Irish figures to provide a social context and then examines briefly each book of short stories. Useful for an understanding of the Irish political and social scene.
Neary, Michael. “Whispered Presences in Seán O’Faoláin’s Stories.” Studies in Short Fiction 32 (Winter, 1995): 11-20. Argues that O’Faoláin confronts his Irishness in his stories in a way that refuses closure or the comfort of the telling detail. Asserts that many of his stories create a feeling of characters being haunted by some event from the past that cannot be made sense of.