The book asks the question is there such a thing as essential Irishness? A considerable number of artists, writers, philosophers, theorists, tourists and citizens think so, even if they do not always phrase it in this way, and Sacred Weather begins by taking the possibility seriously. The book aims to make an intervention in Irish literary and cultural studies by analysing the work of
McGahern as it reacts with this strong investment in ambient Irishness, commencing with a chapter that accounts for its theoretical ambitions and continuing with a series of thematically based studies of McGahern’s work.
Niamh Campbell’s Sacred Weather is a complex, provocative and often insightful account of John McGahern’s writing in context of a series of challenging concepts. Campbell writes with a confidence that demands attention, and with a deftness that is compelling when it is applied to the text in hand
— Nicholas Allen, University of Georgia
This is a highly original, clever and provocative book, that challenges some of the shibboleths of contemporary Irish Studies and extends and refines the most advanced theoretical work in the field. The choice of John McGahern’s work and reputation as the main organising optic through which Irish literary and cultural criticism is viewed, is inspired. Campbell demonstrates how McGahern’s work can provide a resource for thinking subjectivity in ways that address the shortcomings of Irish critical theory in the past, and open up new avenues for the future. Not only that, but McGahern’s work is brought into contact with an eclectic range of literary texts and visual works that further develop the book’s arguments
— Conor Carville, University of Reading