Niamh Takes Ulysses Home


page image




The main literary influence is, of course, Ulysses, James Joyce’s novel which took Homer’s great epic The Odyssey, as its starting point. The notion of the wandering exile, encountering many difficulties on the journey home, is a powerful one and the intention was to couple Niamh's  journey - emotional, physical, psychological - with the literary challenge of reading Joyce’s ground-breaking work – a not inconsiderable feat. As Niamh traverses the streets and strands of Dublin (as Joyce had Stephen and Bloom do over a century before her) she not only attempts to make sense of her past, she also tries to make sense of one of the most challenging novels of the twentieth century.

Reviews of Niamh Takes Ulysses Home

"I loved it. It's moving and witty and joyful. It handles sex at all ages brilliantly - very delicate and sensitive."

Mary Mason

"Do not let the title (Niamh Takes Ulysses Home) put you off!  Ulysses acts as the context/backdrop for a tour of Dublin: one that I was lucky enough to go on with the author (Mary not James!).  The juxtaposition of Niamh's and Joyce's journey is skilfully executed, and slices of Dublin and Dublin life, past and present are revealed with all the atmosphere, history and humour redolent of the Irish.
Along with most of the population you may not have read Ulysses:  you may not have visited Dublin:  this novel will make you want to do both."  

Ingrid Barnes

"Knowing very little of Ulysses I was a little nervous of approaching it but I needn't have been.
It was a wonderful page turner. I'm not sure if I agree with Mary Mason that the sex is delicate. I thought it was hilarious and some of it quite unseemly!  A great read."

Eileen Qayyum

"Niamh Takes Ulysses Home struck a particular cord with me as I have made several attempts to read Ulysses but never completed the task. I love the characters interwoven into the tale and all the historical details. Sadly, I have never made it to Dublin but I feel now as if I have been there, as the author managed to create such a vibrant picture of the city and its environs.  A glossary of  some of the gaelic words would have been good."

Rosy Droar

"I loved the humour in Niamh Takes Ulysses Home and thank goodness there was a clue to the pronunciation of Niamh early on. I especially liked the social history about life in 1950s'  Dublin: Niamh's childhood and friendships. I'm sure if I ever went to Dublin again I'd want to trace Naimh's journey. I'm not sure whether it has encouraged me to read Ulysses, but  you never know! I didn't quite buy into the character of Elizabeth although she did initiate some interesting story lines."

Anne van der Salm