Roddy Doyle’s The Deportees

Declan is Irish and Declan is black. Declan has come from Ireland to study in New York; sick to death of his Dublin professors droning on about Irish writing and its influence on the world he decides, in the penultimate story of Roddy Doyle’s first collection, to prove that the Harlem Renaissance kick-started Ireland’s best writing of the 20th century. “And, if he couldn’t do it, he’d cheat; he’d make it up. Yeats had died clutching his copy of ‘The New Negro.’ Beckett never went to the jacks without ‘The Souls of Black Folk’ under his arm.”