1st Edition

Space and Irish Lesbian Fiction Towards a Queer Liminality

By Amy Jeffrey Copyright 2022
    174 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Space and Irish Lesbian Fiction offers an original and much-needed study of Irish Lesbian fiction. Evaluating a wide body of Irish lesbian fiction ranging from the Victorian era to the contemporary age, this book advocates for women writers who have been largely ignored in Irish literary history and criticism. This volume examines the use and applications of space in Irish lesbian fiction. In recent years, it can be argued that Irish society has created a new ‘space’ for LGBT or queer people. The concept of space is, thus, important both symbolically and physically for lesbian literature. In asking, if Irish women writers have moved ‘out of the shadows’ so to speak, what space is open to the Irish lesbian author? How is spatiality reflected in lesbian representation throughout Irish literary history? Space and Irish Lesbian Fiction examines a diverse range of writers from the nineteenth century to the contemporary age, evaluating the contributions of largely unknown authors who have been overlooked alongside more established voices within Irish literature. The concept of liminality that this volume takes as its theme and focus engage with notions of intersectionality, thresholds, crossings and transitions. In suggesting the overlap between the indeterminate threshold of the liminal space and its ambiguously queer potentiality to examine the dynamics of space and its relationship to lesbianism, this ground-breaking project both locates and charts spaces of queer liminality in Irish lesbian fiction.

    Introduction: ‘It was not in the light we lived, but in the spaces between — in the darkness’

    Chapter One: Inversion and queer liminality in the Nineteenth-century

    Chapter Two: Liminal spaces and minority communities in the Twentieth-century

    Chapter Three: Embracing queer liminal space in the late Twentieth-century

    Chapter Four: (Liminal?) lesbians in the mainstream: ‘Popular’ lesbian fiction

    Conclusion: The lesbian death (bed): Contemporary ‘queer’ Irish and Northern Irish writing


    Amy Jeffrey holds a PhD in Irish literature from Queen’s University Belfast, where she has taught for several years. She has published widely in the field of Irish studies, women’s and LGBTQ+ writing and culture. Her work has appeared in Intertexts: A Journal of Comparative and Theoretical Reflection and The Journal of International Women’s Studies. In 2019 her work was shortlisted by the Feminist and Women’s Studies Association postgraduate essay competition. Amy is also a writer of horror fiction and contributes regularly to Bindweed Literary Magazine.