The first comprehensive survey of LGBTQ fiction in contemporary Ireland.Before Ireland decriminalized same-sex sexual activity in 1993, the nation was essentially devoid of an LGBTQ literary tradition, due to the political and cultural dominance of conservative, censorious ideology. Though the situation has drastically changed in some ways since then–the first nation to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote, Ireland is today hailed as a beacon of equal rights–there is still much work to be done to fully claim parity, visibility, and recognition for all LGBTQ artists.
Queer Whispers is the first comprehensive survey of Irish LGBTQ fiction, spanning the late 1970s through today. The book foregrounds the cultural contribution of Irish writers whose subversive, dissident voices not only challenged the homophobia and heteronormative values of pre-1993 Ireland but also continue to interrogate the persistent discrimination in today’s seemingly more liberal atmosphere. Through analyses of representative novels and short stories, José Carregal addresses a host of social issues–lesbian invisibility, same-sex parenthood, and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, among many others–and considers how authors pushed for broader awareness of the oppression of LGBTQ people in contemporary Ireland. The writing explored in Queer Whispers consistently exposes the limitations imposed by cultural and political silence, while simultaneously articulating new forms of recognition and resilience in the face of queer Ireland’s continued struggles.