Margaret Kelleher (essay date 1995)
SOURCE: "Irish Famine in Literature," in The Great Irish Famine, edited by Cathal Póirtéir, Mercier Press, 1995, pp. 232-47.
[In the following excerpt, Kelleher surveys Famine novels and poetry, maintaining that one of the primary issues concerning nineteenth-century Famine literature is the fulfillment of "its role in preserving and shaping the memory of famine for succeeding generations. "]
In William Carleton's famine novel, The Black Prophet, the narrator hesitates before the task of describing a famine victim with the exclamation, 'But how shall we describe it?'1 Such a question...
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