With St. Patrick's Day coming up tomorrow, now is a good time to pick up the work of an Irish novelist, playwright, or poet. Here are a few suggestions:
Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels may have been written a few hundred years ago but his political satire can easily be applied to the world today. There was a movie version made with Jack Black, but going back to the source is the best way to appreciate this classic.
If satire is a bit too much for you, how about a monster story? Bram Stoker's Dracula is a classic tale not only of the nature of evil but of how far people will go for love. Written in epistolary form, this novel set the stage for shaky camera horror like Paranormal Activity. It also opened the door for paranormal YA like Twilight.
Want something funny? Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest is a laugh out loud look at social manners in the Victorian era. The classic mistaken identity chaos that ensues is hilarious even to readers and audience members today, explaining why this play is still read in school and performed regularly.
If you are looking for an accurate and moving portrayal of Ireland, Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes combines humor and sorrow as the narrator recalls his youth. The people he meets along the way have a profound effect on the reader, each impacting us as much as they affected Frank.
Or perhaps you just want to challenge yourself. There is always James Joyce. If you can get through the first few pages of Finnegan's Wake without a headache, you will already have cause enough for celebration this weekend!
Finally, maybe poetry is just what is needed for St. Patrick's Day. William Butler Yeats' poems evoke nostalgia and hope in a way few writers of his day could. His work on Greek mythology and allusions is also impressive and his work still resonates.
Whatever you choose, enjoy the weekend and immerse yourself in Irish literature along with Irish culture!