The first full-length study of Mary Rose Callaghan's life and works argues that Callaghan's books examine the boundaries that constrict Irish society as well as Irish authors. Her novels explore limits of gender roles, strictures around mental health, margins that conceal social problems of alcoholism, sexual abuse in the clergy, domestic violence, and sexual repression. Callaghan uses the metaphor of geographic crossing (emigration) as a vehicle for exploring crossing the boundary between history and the present time, between fact and fiction, between madness and sanity—the creative process itself. The transatlantic border appears in her portrayal of Americans through Irish eyes, exploring the stereotypes of Irish-America and Ireland from both sides of the Atlantic. Finally, the book examines Callaghan's use of literary allusion as both a stylistic technique and a way to place herself in the literary tradition. Maryanne Felter is a Professor of English at Cayuga Community College.
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