Dubliners is a collection of fifteen short stories by James Joyce, first published in 1914. It presents a naturalistic depiction of Irish middle class life in and around Dublin in the early years of the 20th century. The stories were written when Irish nationalism was at its peak, and a search for a national identity and purpose was raging; at a crossroads of history and culture, Ireland was jolted by various converging ideas and influences. They centre on Joyce’s idea of an epiphany (a moment where a character experiences a life-changing self-understanding or illumination) and the theme of paralysis (Joyce felt Irish nationalism stagnated cultural progression, placing Dublin at the heart of a regressive movement). The first three stories in the collection are narrated by child protagonists, while the subsequent stories are written in the third person and deal with the lives and concerns of progressively older people, in line with Joyce’s division of the collection into childhood, adolescence, maturity, and public life. Many of the characters in Dubliners later appeared in minor roles in Joyce’s novel Ulysses. (from Wikipedia)
15 stories offer glimpses into the lives of ordinary Dubliners, and collectively paint a portrait of a nation.