In her article "Immigrant and Irish Identities in Hand in the Fire and Hamilton's Writing between 2003 and 2014" Dervila Cooke discusses the intertwining of Irish and immigrant identities. Cooke examines the connection between openness to memory and embracing migrant identities in Hamilton's writing both in the 2010 novel and as a whole. The empathetic and inclusive character of Helen in Hand in the Fire is analyzed in contrast to characters who have repressed memory including the Serbian Vid. Helen's ties to elsewhere, her openness to new influence, and her willingness to engage with traumatic elements of the past (Irish and Serbian) make of her a redemptive character. In Hand in the Fire, engaging with the past through the metaphor of self-renovation is seen as potentially healing. The novel connects the retrieval of memory with the (self) acceptance of migrants and of traumatic events in Irish experience.
"Immigrant and Irish Identities in Hand in the Fire and Hamilton's Writing between 2003 and 2014."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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