- The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien
Faber, 320 pp, £18.99, October 2015, ISBN 978 0 571 31628 1
Like many marginal nations, Ireland has leapt from being a largely agricultural society to one of high-tech finance capitalism, information technology and the service industries. Rural drama has given way to Riverdance, and Lady Gregory to Martin McDonagh. The passage from the premodern to the postmodern, partly eclipsing modernity proper, was smoothed by the fact that Ireland had no industrial infrastructure to dismantle. You can go postindustrial all the more easily if you never had much heavy plant apart from the Guinness factory.
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