Sebastian Barry

(b. 1955)

Quick Reference

(1955– ),

Irish playwright, poet and novelist, born in Dublin and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. In his plays, Barry uses dense, lyrical language to replace dramatic conflict, conjuring the spirits of people forgotten by Irish history. In Boss Grady's Boys (1988), the central characters are lonely old bachelors in rural Ireland, and in Prayers of Sherkin (1990), they are biblical utopians waiting for the apocalypse on a remote island. White Woman Street (1992) has an Irish outlaw about to rob a train in the Wild West. The Steward of Christendom (1995) centres on the Lear‐like former head of the loyalist police in Dublin ending his days in an asylum. Hinterland (2002) turns to corruption in recent Irish politics, while Whistling Psyche (2004) recreates the life of Florence Nightingale. His novels include The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty (1998), Annie Dunne (2002), and A Long Long Way (2005).

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »