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Dubliners is a collection of fiftheen intriguing stories by the Irish novelist and poet, James Joyce, that are based around the lives of colourful characters in Dublin during the early 1900's. Considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde genre of the early 20th century, Joyce is best known for his landmark work, Ulysses. As his first book, Dubliners is a penetrating analysis of the stagnation and paralysis of Dublin society. It was written at a time when Irish nationalism was at its peak and a search for a national identity and purpose was in full force. In a modern context, Dubliners paints a picture of Irish nostalgia contrasted with the harsh reality of living during that period. For all its social austerities, each of the stories includes an element of epiphany, where the central character experiences a moment of clarity or self-understanding. These moments are woven into the tangible geographical location of Dublin, with great emphasis laid on actual places that a reader with local knowledge can directly relate. Combined with a host of quintessential Irish characters, Dubliners presents varying perspectives of Ireland's capital during the turn of the last century. "For myself, I always write about Dublin, because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world." - James Joyce.