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- Publisher: Gill & Macmillan Ltd
- Format: Paperback | 560 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 42mm | 458g
- Publication date: 21 February 2006
- Publication City/Country: Dublin
- ISBN 10: 071714058X
- ISBN 13: 9780717140589
- Sales rank: 214,247
Set in Dublin during the Lockout of 1913, "Strumpet City" is a panoramic novel of city life. It embraces a wide range of social milieux, from the miseries of the tenements to the cultivated, bourgeois Bradshaws. It introduces a memorable cast of characters: the main protagonist, Fitz, a model of the hard-working, loyal and abused trade unionist; the isolated, well-meaning and ineffectual Fr O'Connor; and the wretched and destitute, Rashers Tierney. In the background hovers the enormous shadow of Jim Larkin, Plunkett's real-life hero. "Strumpet City's" popularity derives from its realism and its naturalistic presentation of traumatic historical events. There are clear heroes and villians. The book is informed by a sense of moral outrage at the treatment of the locked-out trade unionists, the indifference and evasion of the city's clergy and middle class and the squalor and degradation of the tenement slums.
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The late James Plunkett drew on his city-centre working-class background, and his commitment to the labour movement, as the background for his fiction. Strumpet City is acknowledged as his masterpiece. His other novels include Farewell Companions and The Circus Animals. He was an accomplished short-story writer and also wrote for radio and theatre.