Lord of the Files - a landmark anthology - presents a breathtaking array of fiction, satire, drama, poetry, memoir, journalism and political debate about serving the public and working for the government in Ireland.
Selections are included from the works of Flann O’Brien & Myles na gCopaleen, Hugh Leonard, Maeve Binchy, John McGahern, Dennis O’Driscoll, Eavan Boland, Paul Durcan, Joseph O’Connor, Cathal O’Searcaigh, Kevin Myers, Olivia O’Leary, T.K. Whitaker, F.H. Boland, Michael D. Higgins, Seamus Heaney and W.B. Yeats. They, along with other well-known figures over the last one hundred years, join equally entertaining but less familiar authoris, and the mischievous cartoonists of Dublin Opinion.
These writers capture the public service from inside and out: the personal milestones such as entering and leaving the service; and the ceaseless flow of work-a-day routine. They present the real-life difficulties - and dangers - of frontline service; the self-fulfilment and the frustrations of work; the ingenuity of achievement along with baffling bureaucracy and officialese; and the interaction between officials and ministers. The final chapter showcases the relationship between literary writers and the public service — our Literary Estate.
This is a book about people - both those who provide and those who receive the state services that are a crucial part of our lives. The tone of the writing is humorous, humane, colourful and poignant. Full of fascinating detail, the anthology is a marvellous human history of life in Ireland.
The public service is often subject to criticism, and those who work in it frequently regarded as ‘souls on ice’. Lord of the Files moves beyond the stereotype - it presents the public service with a human face.