Rita Ann Higgins

Ireland Is Changing Mother

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Ireland Is Changing Mother is the latest collection from Rita Ann Higgins: provocative and heart-warming poems of high jinx, jittery grief and telling social comment by a gutsy, anarchic chronicler of the lives of the Irish dispossessed, before as well as since the demise of the Celtic tiger. 'It shouldn't be unusual to hear a smart, sassy, unabashed, female working-class voice in Irish writing. But it is. Higgins's achievement doesn't depend on that rarity value, but it is certainly amplified by it. Higgins is, quite consciously, an artistic outsider… a unique fusion of wry, deadpan humour on the one side and absolute sincerity on the other. She doesn't congratulate herself for her sympathy with those who are (in this case literally) outside the world of art. She simply sees and writes. Her humour and playfulness keep sentimentality and self-righteousness resolutely at bay… She has made what is still the most direct and powerful statement of the class divide in Irish society… The boom years had no great effect on Higgins's voice, on her point of view or on her style. She had a manic linguistic energy long before the hysteria of the Tiger era quickened the pulse of the culture as a whole: Higgins could be regarded, in one of her guises, as Ireland's first rapper…. Her political satire hasn't lost its edge, but it no longer reads as a cry in the wilderness… Now the bubble's burst, we re left with our real treasures, and Rita Ann Higgins is one of them.' -Fintan O'Toole, writing in The Irish Times on Ireland Is Changing Mother.
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38 printed pages
Original publication


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