The 2016 book for the Irish American Heritage Museum’s summer reading series is James Plunkett’s “Strumpet City.” Set in Dublin during the Lockout of 1913, Strumpet City is a panoramic novel of city life. It embraces a wide range of social milieux, from the miseries of the tenements to the cultivated, bourgeois Bradshaws. It introduces a memorable cast of characters: the main protagonist, Fitz, a model of the hard-working, loyal and abused trade unionist; the isolated, well-meaning and ineffectual Fr O’Connor; the wretched and destitute Rashers Tierney. In the background hovers the enormous shadow of Jim Larkin, Plunkett’s real-life hero. Strumpet City’s popularity derives from its realism and its naturalistic presentation of traumatic historical events. There are clear heroes and villains. The book is informed by a sense of moral outrage at the treatment of the locked-out trade unionists, the indifference and evasion of the city’s clergy and middle class and the squalor and degradation of the tenement slums.
Throughout the summer the Museum will be posting reading questions on this page (as seen below). If you feel like participating in the discussion, please submit your answers in the contact form below and we will begin a discussion on this page on the book.
The summer book club culminates in a book conversation and presentation led by Dr. Tim Madigan of St. John Fisher College on October 15th at 2PM. In the meantime, check out the questions below and happy reading!
Make sure to check out this article from Irish Central on the Dublin Lockout. http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/The-story-of-the-Dublin-lock-out.html