We Won’t Make It Out Alive: Patrick McCabe and the Horrors of the Irish Mundane
Author: Kate Walls
Date Of Publication: Sep 2010
The first full length study of Patrick McCabe’s work, We Won’t Make It Out Alive, examines the mental instability and carefully constructed childhoods that McCabe has crafted for his various characters—the one eyed quasi Al Pacino, the sequin studded transvestite, the bachelor farmer who routinely exhumes his dead mother for a chat.
Beneath the grotesque and often very funny narratives of Irish border town life lurks startlingly similar pasts for these characters, spanning all of McCabe’s catalogue. As children, they were subject to the cruelty of the orphanage/workhouse or deadbeat parents numbed by alcohol. Many were victims of sexual abuse by priests and witnesses to the senseless violence brought on by political divides. The outrageous personalities and later actions of these characters often overshadow these very real beginnings, and in this book, Kate Walls discusses the impact of these social problems and how McCabe’s unfortunate (and usually well-meaning) narrators are driven crazy as a result.
We Won’t Make It Out Alive also discusses how these characters fare against the Troubles of the 1970s and, for the novels set in more contemporary times, the changing Ireland of the Celtic Tiger. Being on the fringes of society themselves, McCabe’s characters have a unique vantage point from which to comment on these defining moments of social upheaval.
Kate Walls is pursuing her PhD at Queen’s University Belfast. She holds an MPhil from Trinity College Dublin and an honor’s degree from Hofstra University in New York, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She worked as Assistant Professor of English at Five Towns College in New York, where she taught Freshman Composition, The Drama, and Screenwriting. She contributed a chapter to Visions of the Irish Dream (2009) about representations of gender and Ireland in the fiction of Roddy Doyle. She lives in County Antrim, Ireland.
Price Uk Gbp: 34.99
Price Us Usd: 52.99
Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)