Edited by Augustine Martin
Difficult as it may be in understand today, the Exploring English anthology of short stories was revolutionary when first published forty four years ago in 1967. For the first time the short story was to be taught as part of the English syllabus for the Intermediate Certificate. For the first time students of English were introduced to the work of Irish writers such as Liam O’Flaherty, Frank O’Connor, Sean O Faolain, Mary Lavin, Brian Friel and Benedict Kiely.
Exploring English has resonated with countless thousands of Irish students. For many it provided a gateway to a life time of reading and enjoyment of literature. For even more it was an icon of their school days with its unmistakeable angular cover design. It is still a cherished possession in many households, taken out occasionally and nostalgically to read a story or two and perhaps even the accompanying notes which were so enlightening for some yet challenging for others.
The Exploring English short story anthology is now being republished in an exact facsimile of the original. Times have moved on; many authors who were alive forty years ago are no longer with us but their biographical notes have not been changed. This is the book precisely as you will have remembered it. Read once more, and enjoy!