"MY WIFE is from Galway city," James Joyce told a London literary agent in 1918 when his writings began to attract international attention, and that woman and Galway had a major impact on the Dubliner.
From the moment he met Nora Barnacle, Joyce weaved tales of her native city and county into his writings, making Galway second only to Dublin as a wellspring in his major works.
The impact of Galway on Joyce's imagination is explored in a new book, Joyce County: Galway and James Joyce, written by Galwegian and RTÉ chief news editor, Ray Burke, and published by Currach Press. Written in accessible style for the general reader rather than the Joycean specialist, this is the first comprehensive examination of Galway’s importance in Joyce’s life and work. It also contains the first full account of an incident in Galway Bay in 1858 that is mentioned twice in Ulysses.
Joyce visited Galway twice, and he wrote memorably about the city’s history in two lengthy articles for an Italian newspaper. Galway is key to Joyce’s greatest short story, ‘The Dead’, and it is the location of one of his best-known poems, ‘She Weeps Over Rahoon’.