Books: Irish Invention

THE GREEN HILLS AND OTHER STORIES (205 pp.)—Walter Macken—Mocm//-lan ($3.50).

In 1904, in John Bull's Other Island, Irishman Bernard Shaw developed the notion that the sentimental "top-o'-the-mornin'-to-ye" Irish character was an English invention designed to prove that the Irish were incapable of looking after themselves. Ever since, without exactly conceding Shaw's point, or, for that matter, calling the man a liar, Irish writers have been adapting and improving the original invention.

One of the most skilled practitioners in the ambiguous craft of whittling the Irish character into attractive shape is Walter Macken, and...

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