Books: Irish Mousetrap

SCHOOL FOR HOPE (242 pp.)—Michael McLaverty—Macmillian ($3.50).

Literate Irishmen like to recall the days when their country used to toss huge logs —Joyce, Yeats, Synge—on the fires of 20th century literature. Last month Dublin's Irish Times keened over the current era of matchstick prose and poetry: "Search the horizon as we will, we can see no budding poet, no young incipient novelist . . . The Irish literary Hamlet has expired; the rest is silence." The horizon-searching Irish Times has apparently overlooked a 44-year-old Belfast schoolteacher named Michael McLaverty, who is admittedly no Hamlet, but whose novels make first-rate kindling for a...

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