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Eschewing her stale life in London, one woman embarks on a journey of independence and sexual liberation on the French Riviera Separated from her husband, and with her young son away on a camping trip, Ellen decides to flee her lonely London home, naively pursuing "a jaunt into iniquity" along France's Mediterranean coast. But will she find the escape she longs for, or the entrapment she so deeply fears? In August Is a Wicked Month, Edna O'Brien's lyric, languid prose creates a character at once ordinary and mythic, struggling to forge her own path not as a wife, mother, mistress, or lover--but as simply, assuredly herself.
The courageous and poetic narrative of a great fiction writer's life, seen from the vantage point of eight decades.In 1960, Edna O'Brien published The Country Girls, her first novel, which so scandalized the O'Briens' local parish that the book was burned by its priest. O'Brien, married with two sons, was undeterred and has since created a body of work that bears comparison with the best writing of the twentieth century. Country Girl brings us face to face with a life of high drama and contemplation. It is a rich and heady accounting of the events, people, emotions, and landscape that imprint upon and enliven one lifetime.Starting with O'Brien's birth in a grand but deteriorating house in Ireland, her story moves through convent school to elopement, divorce, single-motherhood, the wild parties of the '60s in London, and encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars, and literary titans. There is love and unrequited love, and the glamour of trips to America as an acclaimed writer hosted by Jackie Onassis and Hillary Clinton. Brilliant and sensuous, Country Girl is a book we are fortunate that Edna O'Brien decided to write.
Centennial Edition Perhaps the greatest short story collection in the English language, James Joyce's Dubliners is both a vivid and unflinching portrait of "dear dirty Dublin" at the turn of the twentieth century and a moral history of a nation and a people whose "golden age" has passed. His richly drawn characters--at once intensely Irish and utterly universal--may forever haunt the reader. In mesmerizing writing that evokes rich imagery, Joyce delves into the heart of the city of his birth, capturing the cadences of Dubliners' speech in remarkably realistic portrayals of their inner lives. This magnificent collection of fifteen stories reveals Joyce at his most accessible and perhaps most profound. With an Introduction by Edna O'Brien and an Afterword by Malachy McCourt
In this contemporary story with universal resonance, Edna O'Brien delves deep into the intense relationship that exists between a mother and daughter who long for closeness yet remain eternally at odds. From her hospital bed in Dublin, the ailing Dilly Macready eagerly awaits a visit from her long-estranged daughter, Eleanora. Years before, Eleanora fled Ireland for London when her sensuous first novel caused a local scandal. Eleanora's peripatetic life since then has brought international fame but personal heartbreak in her failed quest for love. Always, her mother beseeches her to return home, sending letters that are priceless in their mix of love, guilt, and recrimination. For all her disapproval, Dilly herself knows something of Eleanora's need for freedom: as a young woman in the 1920s, Dilly left Ireland for a new life in New York City. O'Brien's marvelous cinematic portrait of New York in that era is a tour-de-force, filled with the clang and clatter of the city, the camaraderie of the working girls against their callous employers, and their fierce competition over handsome young men. But a lover's betrayal sent Dilly reeling back to Ireland to raise a family on a lovely old farm named Rusheen. It is Rusheen that still holds mother and daughter together. Yet Eleanora's visit to her mother's sickbed does not prove to be the glad reunion that Dilly prayed for. And in her hasty departure, Eleanora leaves behind a secret journal of their stormy relationship -- a revelation that brings the novel to a shocking close.Brimming with the lyricism and earthy insight that are the hallmarks of Edna O'Brien's acclaimed fiction, The Light of Evening is a novel of dreams and attachments, lamentations and betrayals. At its core is the realization that the bond between mother and child is unbreakable, stronger even than death.
Collected here for the first time are stories spanning five decades of writing by the "short story master." (Harold Bloom)As John Banville writes in his introduction to THE LOVE OBJECT, Edna O'Brien "is, simply, one of the finest writers of our time." The thirty-one stories collected in this volume provide, among other things, a cumulative portrait of Ireland, seen from within and without. Coming of age, the impact of class, and familial and romantic love are the prevalent motifs, along with the instinct toward escape and subsequent nostalgia for home. Some of the stories are linked and some carry O'Brien's distinct sense of the comical. In "A Rose in the Heart of New York," the single-mindedness of love dramatically derails the relationship between a girl and her mother, while in "Sister Imelda" and "The Creature" the strong ties between teacher and student and mother and son are ultimately broken. "The Love Object" recounts a passionate affair between the narrator and her older lover.The magnificent, mid-career title story from Lantern Slides portrays a Dublin dinner party that takes on the lives and loves of all the guests. More recent stories include "Shovel Kings"--"a masterpiece of compression, distilling the pain of a lost, exiled generation" (Sunday Times)--and "Old Wounds," which follows the revival and demise of the friendship between two elderly cousins.In 2011, Edna O'Brien's gifts were acknowledged with the most prestigious international award for the story, the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award. THE LOVE OBJECT illustrates a career's worth of shimmering, potent prose from a writer of great courage, vision, and heart."The most striking aspect of Edna O'Brien's short stories, aside from the consistent mastery with which they are executed, is their diversity."--John Banville
A collection of remarkable short stories by one of the twentieth century's most acclaimed and prolific authors In this collection of eight stories, Edna O'Brien writes lyrically and passionately about women's lives. In "Irish Revel," young Mary yearns for the promise of a sweetheart to hold on to, as a hard life stretches out before her. In "The Rug," a woman becomes consumed with her search for the sender of a mysterious gift. And in the title story, "The Love Object," a successful television announcer struggles for emotional fulfillment through an affair with a married man. In each story, the objects of each woman's affections vary, but all are masterfully bound together by their love and longing. At once heartrending and captivating, The Love Object is an unforgettable exploration of isolation and romantic obsession.
A PAGAN PLACE is Edna O'Brien's true novel of Ireland. Here she returns to that uniquely wonderful, terrible, peculiar place she once called home and writes not only of a life there--of the child becoming a woman--but of the Irish experience out of which that life arises--perhaps more pointedly than in any of her other works. This is the Ireland of country villages and barley fields, of druids in the woods, of unknown babies in the womb, of mischievous girls and Tans with guns. Ireland has marked Edna O'Brien's life and work with unmistakable color and depth, and here she recreates her homeland with a singular grace and intensity.
This volume from one of Ireland's greatest playwrights includes "In the Shadow of the Glen," "Riders to the Sea," and "The Playboy of the Western World."
With her inimitable gift for describing the workings of the heart and mind, Edna O'Brien introduces us to a vivid new cast of restless, searching people who-whether in the Irish countryside or London or New York-remind us of our own humanity. In "Send My Roots Rain," Miss Gilhooley, a librarian, waits in the lobby of a posh Dublin hotel-expecting to meet a celebrated poet while reflecting on the great love who disappointed her. The Irish workers of "The Shovel Kings" have pipe dreams of becoming millionaires in London, but long for their quickly changing homeland-exiles in both places. "Green Georgette" is a searing anatomy of class, through the eyes of a little girl; "Old Wounds" illuminates the importance of family and memory in old age. In language that is always bold and vital, Edna O'Brien pays tribute to the universal forces that rule our lives.
"With a mood akin to WUTHERING HEIGHTS--and indeed the spirit of Emily Bronte" (Irish Times), Edna O'Brien's critically acclaimed novel WILD DECEMBERS charts the quick but sure demise of relations between "the warring sons of warring sons." Here in the countryside of western Ireland, "ancient feuds, romantic passions, and misguided ideas of fidelity blend together in . . . [a] heartbreaking story" (Wall Street Journal) leavened by the human comedy of which O'Brien rarely loses sight. A sister, a brother, and a stranger converge in a classic triangle, proceeding inevitably "toward a climax that is Irish to the quick, violent and sad and, in a strange way, beautiful. Just like the novel itself" (Washington Post). WILD DECEMBERS is a triumphant work from a writer who wears well the mantle of her Irish forebears and yet who, with each new novel, breaks new ground all her own. In this, her latest, "readers could not ask for a more profoundly satisfying book" (Boston Herald).
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