Five Irish Women: The second republic, 1960-2016: A well-written, clever, very useful book

Book review: Emer Nolan adds to our knowledge of 20th-century feminism, politics and Irishness

Irish singer Sinead O’Connor performs at Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 1988. Photograph:  Paul Bergen/Redferns

Irish singer Sinead O’Connor performs at Paradiso, Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 1988. Photograph: Paul Bergen/Redferns

Emer Nolan, author of the very useful Joyce and Nationalism, has chosen to reflect on five interesting Irishwomen who came to prominence in the second half of the 20th century. They are Edna O’Brien, Bernadette McAliskey, Nuala O’Faolain, Sinead O’Connor and Anne Enright.

She had plenty to choose from - the second wave of Irish feminism in the 1960s and 70s made life and self-expression much easier for women. These choices represent women who made a considerable impact in their fields of literature, journalism, music and politics, and who exemplified different and evolving versions of feminism. None of them relied on a more famous male spouse or father and all of them achieved international as well as national recognition.

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