Edna O'Brien

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O'Brien, Edna,

1932–, Irish writer, b. Twamgraney. After living in Dublin, she moved (1954) to London, where she still lives. Her constant theme and recurring setting, however, is Ireland. In richly sensual prose, O'Brien explores the dreams, failed marriages, doomed affairs, brief happiness, and ultimate disenchantment of individual women in her homeland's enclosed, sexually repressed culture. Her first seven books were once banned there. Her early works include a trilogy, The Country Girls (1960), The Lonely Girl (1962), and Girls in Their Married Bliss (1964). Among her subsequent novels are Casualties of Peace (1966), Johnny I Hardly Knew You (1977), and The High Road (1988). Her later novels, such as House of Splendid Isolation (1994), Down by the River (1997), and In the Forest (2002), continue to focus on the vicissitudes of women's lives while treating larger themes of the Irish experience. The semiautobiographical The Light of Evening (2006), her 20th novel, features a version of her mother as a central character. The Little Red Chairs (2016), her next novel, is partly set in Ireland but treats the wider world in the character of a Balkan war criminal. O'Brien also is known for her beautifully wrought short stories, which are collected in The Love Object (1968), A Scandalous Woman (1974), A Fanatic Heart (1984), Lantern Slides (1990), and Saints and Sinners (2011), and selected from those collections in The Love Object (2015). Other works include brief biographies of James Joyce (1999) and Byron (2009), essays, plays, and screenplays.


See her memoirs, Mother Ireland (1976) and Country Girl (2013); studies by G. Eckley (1974), B. Schrank (1998), A. Greenwood (2003), L. Colletta and M. O'Connor, ed. (2006), and K. Laing et al., ed. (2006).

References in periodicals archive ?
Brenda Blethyn as Mrs Berry and Niall Buggy as Mr Buggy in Haunted by Edna O'Brien
Nearly 50 years after it launched her literary career, Edna O'Brien has adapted "The Country Girls" for the stage as "Tir Na Nag" (Land of Youth).
The banning of two of the most significant new voices to emerge in Irish fiction in the post-war period, Edna O'Brien and John McGahern, would, as we shall see, contribute to the overhaul of the system.
Edna O'Brien captures the essence of the Irish countryside and people in a way reminiscent of James Joyce.
Gebler, the son of Irish novelist Edna O'Brien, premiers his play in a theatre in Kilburn, London this Thursday.
Other famous names include, Helen Fielding author of Bridget Jones; Irish novelist Edna O'Brien, Roy Hattersley, Beryl Bainbridge and naughty Peter Rabbit who, this year, celebrates 100 years of getting into trouble.
And though Bradford successfully punctures the Kennedy myth, author and friend Edna O'Brien explains why the allure of Jackie continues to linger in our psyche.
Edna O'Brien acaba de recordarnos que Ulises fue primero visto como "tecnicamente monstruoso, antihumanista, sucio y excremental", porque habia roto los tabues sexuales "de la Irlanda sagrada, la Inglaterra victoriana, y los Estados Unidos puritanicos".
DOWN BY THE RIVER By Edna O'Brien Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 256 pages $23 hardback
Inhof does the best he can with Benedict Kiely, Edna O'Brien, and Alf MacLochlainn.
The brilliant short story writer Edna O'Brien tests her readers with a long-suffering heroine of unrequited love in a new novel whose title, Time and Tide, has at once absolutely nothing and yet absolutely everything to do with the plot line, much the same way that one knows how the menu's going to read at a restaurant called Beef and Brew.
X, Y and Zee (1971) written by Edna O'Brien, with a star-studded cast including Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Caine and Susannah York