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Ireland, Migration and Return MigrationThe "Returned Yank" in the Cultural Imagination, 1952 to present$
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Sinéad Moynihan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786941800

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786941800.001.0001

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‘The Secret Dotted Line’

‘The Secret Dotted Line’

Return, Roots Journeys and Irish Literary Genealogies

(p.171) Chapter Four ‘The Secret Dotted Line’
Ireland, Migration and Return Migration

Sinéad Moynihan

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the ways in which Irish writers have self-consciously invoked Irish-American return and/or the roots journey to address questions of literary genealogy. In other words, this chapter discusses narratives in which a thematic preoccupation with return also underwrites metafictional concerns with literary forebears, the Irish literary tradition and artistic exile. Exploring texts that span 1960 to 2008 and the work of prolific, exiled writers Brian Moore (1921-1999) and Edna O’Brien (b. 1930) as well as the much younger writer Denis Kehoe (b. 1978), this chapter configures ‘return’ in multiple senses: the literal returns of fictional characters to Ireland; return as ‘restoration’ (of occluded histories; of banned books); and return as an opportunity to engage with (literary) genealogies that do not conform to the gendered and heteronormative orthodoxies of the Irish literary tradition.

Keywords:   Returned Yank, Return migration, Gender, Sexuality, Anglo-Irish, Edna O’Brien, Brian Moore, Denis Kehoe, Roots journey

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