2002 Book prize short list

The Irish Story: Telling Tales and Making it Up in Ireland

Roy Foster

Published by: Allen Lane

In this bold, provocative and extremely funny book Roy Foster demolishes the clichés that surround Ireland’s past, examining how key moments from its history have been turned into myths – and, more recently, airbrushed and repackaged for Hollywood and popular culture. Whether discussing the ‘misery tourism’ of Famine theme parks, ideas of mystical Celticism, the contested ‘Irishness’ of Yeats or the sentimentalized childhoods of Angela’s Ashes and Gerry Adams’s memoir, The Irish Story brilliantly separates the tall tales from the truth.