These are great books! I heartedly endorse your observations.
Can I make a recommendation? At Swim Two Boys is not just a complex, layered, engrossing work of queer literature, it’s also working its way to the forefront of the contemporary, mainstream Irish canon.
It’s a true masterpiece on the order of Joycean masterpieces. What Jamie O’Neill has to say about the construction of identity applies as much to his characters’ sexual orientation as it does to their senses of patriotism and nationalism.
The first chapter is a bit of a hard go, I always warn. O’Neill’s use of dialect is dense at first, but the story opens up and blooms after the first few pages.
If you haven’t read it yet, I envy you the experience.