Edna O'Brien
Novelist
Edna O'Brien
Edna O'Brien is an Irish novelist and short story writer whose works often revolve around the inner feelings of women, and their problems in relating to men and to society as a whole.
Biography
Edna O'Brien's personal information overview.
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News
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Edna O'Brien, a grande dama da literatura irlandesa mostra seus objetos favoritos
Wall Street Journal - 11 months
A grande dama da literatura irlandesa compartilha alguns de seus objetos favoritos, como a figura de bronze de uma deusa celta da guerra, do conflito e da soberania.
Article Link:
Wall Street Journal article
Healing And Horror Sit Side By Side In 'Little Red Chairs'
NPR - 11 months
Edna O'Brien's new book is set in a little Irish village disrupted by the arrival of a mysterious stranger, a war criminal in hiding whose murderous hands can heal as well as kill.
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NPR article
Los tesoros personales de Edna O'Brien
Wall Street Journal - 11 months
La gran dama de la literatura irlandesa comparte algunos de sus objetos favoritos, incluidos máscaras africanas, un fragmento de prosa enmarcado e W.B. Yeats y una postal de Anselm Kiefer.
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Wall Street Journal article
Edna O’Brien Is Still Gripped by Dark Moral Questions
NYTimes - 11 months
This 85-year-old Irish writer discusses her career and her latest novel, “The Little Red Chairs,” which is her first in 10 years.
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NYTimes article
How to Write Fiction
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Ireland has ever been a fount of short fiction. So many Irish writers have distinguished themselves in this form that their names make up a kind of who's-who of writing sophistication and genius: John McGahern, Frank O'Connor, Edna O'Brien, Maeve Binchy, Colm Tóibín, William Trevor, Roddy Doyle, Seán Ó Faoláin, Julia Ó Faoláin, Eoin McNamee and many, many more. James Joyce, of course, holds a kind of sway over all Irish literature written in English, mostly because of Ulysses. Whether the novel deserves that sway remains open to debate. What some readers consider a work of great genius is held by others to be one of profound linguistic nuttiness. It is revered particularly by professors. The conversation about that will go on for as long as literature exists, so there must be something indeed to Ulysses. I've read it. But for me Joyce's best book is Dubliners. It was controversial well before it was published, at least as far as Joyce and a number of publishers were concerned. The ...
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Huffington Post article
The 10 Best Books Of 2013
Huffington Post - about 3 years
We've been reveling in great books all year. Here are the ten we can't stop talking about. 1. The Isle of Youth by Laura van den Berg If you like your female protagonists quirky, questing, and quixotic, you will adore this story collection and the author’s ability to bore into her characters' innermost thoughts, piercing straight through to their red-hot cores. 2. Country Girl: A Memoir by Edna O'Brien This memoir by one of Ireland's greatest fiction writers has the grit of Angela's Ashes and the sensuality of a D.H. Lawrence novel. All the juicy gossip is a fabulous bonus. 3. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert It doesn't matter if you relished or reviled Eat, Pray, Love. With this novel about a young 19th-century Philadelphia woman who becomes a world-renowned botanist, Gilbert shows herself to be a writer at the height of her powers. Surprisingly, it turns out moss is a riveting subject. 4. Vampires in the Lemon Grove by Karen Russell Russ ...
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Huffington Post article
6 Books Every Smart, Sexy Woman Needs To Read
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Fear of Flying author Erica Jong reveals the inspiring titles that need a place on every woman's bookshelf. As told to Leigh Haber Before Sex and the City, before Girls, there was Fear of Flying, the now-classic novel that encouraged women not just to enjoy their sexuality but to feel downright exhilarated by it. The book was revolutionary for its time, and, four decades later, what still makes it so relevant (and compulsively readable) is narrator Isadora Wing's decision to finally take charge of her own mind, body and freedom. In celebration of the Fear of Flying's 40th anniversary, author Erica Jong has come up with six inspiring books that every woman, of any generation needs to read -- or reread! -- if only to invoke her own inner powerhouse. 1) The Golden Notebook By Doris Lessing 688 pages; Harper Perennial Modern Classics The story: One woman's struggle to write a notebook that contains all the compartmentalized facets of her life -- her childhood, her politics and her l ...
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Huffington Post article
<i>Dissident Gardens</i>: An Interview with Jonathan Lethem
Huffington Post - over 3 years
"Roth has always lurked for me, an emanation of intelligence and vitality and force-of-will that I took for granted until it became impossible for me to ignore." -- Jonathan Lethem, 2013 I first met Jonathan Lethem at a Tribute to Philip Roth honoring him on the event of his 80th birthday. As President of the Philip Roth Society, I invited Mr. Lethem to speak on our behalf and - as one of several speakers that evening, speakers including such luminaries as Claudia Roth Pierpont, Hermione Lee, Alain Finkelkraut, Edna O'Brien, and Philip Roth himself -- Jonathan Lethem moved me both to laughter and to tears. When he sat down beside me, after his remarks, I patted him on the back off-handedly: "Good job," I had said in a way that, in retrospect, would have been taken as an insult or unsuitably infantilizing to anyone other than the modest author beside me. And then, sounding like the host of "The Chris Farley Show" on Saturday Night Live, I added -- trying to improve on my first atte ...
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Huffington Post article
Doug Bradley: Celebrating National Short Story Month
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
We all remember our first time. Mine was in 10th grade AP English in 1963. I loved reading, which was probably why I was in AP in the first place, but the stuff Mrs. Peters was making us read -- Silas Marner, Great Expectations, The Scarlet Letter -- was brutal. I was almost about to swear off reading and AP English when I stumbled upon a particular short story, maybe one of the shorter stories ever written, that grabbed me and wouldn't let go. That brief tale spoke to me, it made me enjoy reading again. And unknown to me at the time, it planted a seed for my own short story collection which I'd eventually get published some 50 years later! My older brother was in college back in 1963, but unlike me he didn't enjoy reading "literature" all that much. So, sometimes he'd have me write papers for him about the things he was supposed to be reading. That made me feel cool and kinda grown up, and, better yet, it meant my brother was beholding to me, which was something a car-less ...
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Huffington Post article
Books of The Times: Edna O’Brien’s Memoir, ‘Country Girl’
New York Times - almost 4 years
The Irish novelist Edna O’Brien writes a memoir of her journey from 1930s Ireland to Swinging London and beyond.     
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New York Times article
'Country Girl' Edna O'Brien On A Lifetime Of Lit, Loneliness And Love
NPR - almost 4 years
The Irish writer scandalized audiences with her 1960 novel, The Country Girls. Half a century later, she looks back on her childhood in a small village, her fame and its accessories and above all, her ceaseless drive to write. » E-Mail This     » Add to Del.icio.us
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NPR article
Kate Burton: Books, theater run in family
San Francisco Chronicle - about 4 years
Kate Burton: Books, theater run in family For about 10 years, you could usually find a book narrated by Kate Burton on the best-seller lists. Burton will step in as host, replacing the show's founder and host, Isaiah Sheffer, who died last month, when "Selected Shorts" is performed at Berkeley Repertory Theatre this weekend. Burton, who will read Edna O'Brien's "Violets," will be joined by Linda Lavin, Michael Imperioli (of "The Sopranos" fame) and René Auberjonois, who has a long history with Bay Area theater stretching back to the early days of American Conservatory Theater. Like so many stage actors, and because she excels at disappearing into character roles, Burton wasn't well known on a national level until she got a regular gig on TV. The first was the recent publication of his diaries; the second was a much-reviled Lifetime TV movie called "Liz &amp; Dick" about his two marriages to Elizabeth Taylor. Burton would rather talk about the image of her fat ...
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San Francisco Chronicle article
Christina Patterson: Lunch (and Several Drinks) With Shane MacGowan
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Age takes its toll. If, for example, you're a rock star who became very, very famous 30 years ago for taking traditional Irish music and giving it a wild, punk twist, and you also liked a drink, then you might not look quite as sprightly as you used to. And if, for example, you're a journalist who has interviewed quite a lot of artists over the years, and you keep reading that the rock star you're about to interview is often several hours late, then you might not feel excited, or indulgent, but quite tired and cross. You might even send an email to the rock star's girlfriend, saying that you do understand that her boyfriend, who's called Shane MacGowan, isn't always the most punctual person, but that since you're flying in and out of Dublin in a day to do the interview, your schedule is actually quite tight. And when you get an email back saying that "there is usually a delay," and then another one suggesting that you get a later flight back, you might have to fight the urg ...
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Huffington Post article
Books of the year 2012: authors choose their favourites
Guardian (UK) - over 4 years
From a meditation on walking Britain's ancient paths to an epic American novel, from reportage on life in a Mumbai slum to a blockbuster biography of LBJ ... writers choose their books of the year Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Eghosa Imasuen's Fine Boys (Farafina Books, available on Kindle) is, simply put, a very good read. It is about middle-class life in 1990s Nigeria, boys coming of age amid the lure of violence and the pull of young love. It is moving, funny and emotionally true. Pat Barker's Toby's Room (Hamish Hamilton) is magnificent; the characters have psychological depth, and she deals, in an honest, knowledgeable way with gender and art during the first world war. I finished it eagerly, wanting to know what happened next, and as I read, I was enjoying, marvelling and learning. Simon Armitage I've become a big fan of the short novel of late, something about the length of a day return from Leeds to London, so Denis Johnson's Train Dreams (Granta) was always going to appea ...
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Guardian (UK) article
WXN reveals Ireland's 25 most powerful women
Business & Leadership - over 4 years
Mary Robinson, Edna O'Brien, Anne Heraty, Garry Hynes and Marian Finucane have been named among Ireland's 25 most powerful women in a new awards initiative presented by the Women's Executive Network (WXN) and HSBC Ireland.
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Business & Leadership article
Keret and Englander Nominated for Award
Forward - over 4 years
Israeli writer Etgar Keret and American author Nathan Englander have both been shortlisted for the 2012 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the biggest prize in the world for a short story collection. Keret was nominated for “Suddenly a Knock on the Door,” and Englander received a nod for “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank.” There are a total of six finalists for the award. The other four are Kevin Barry of Ireland, Fiona Kidman of New Zealand, Sarah Hall of the UK, and Lucia Perillo of the U.S. This is Keret’s second time being shortlisted, and Englander has two chances of winning the award, since he translated much of Keret’s collection — and if a translation wins, the author and the translator share the prize. This is the eighth year that the €25,000 ($31,500) prize, for the best original short story collection published in English by a living author, is being awarded. It is a gift of the Munster Literature Centre and will presented at the Cork In ...
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Forward article
Christina Reihill: Pools of silence reflect visceral and harrowing violence
Independent - almost 5 years
When the interviewer on RTE's documentary on Edna O'Brien earlier last week asked her, "What is it that makes people so compelled by you?" he asked a long and begging question for me.
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Independent article
Rachael Freed: Legacy Blessings: Honoring Our Mothers on Mother's Day
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
In previous years we've concentrated on various legacy strategies to make the May Hallmark holiday, Mother's Day, substantive and meaningful. One year, we celebrated our mothers with legacy letters of appreciation. In another year we reflected on mothering as action, something women do whether they have children or not. Women "mother" children, aging parents, pets, gardens, trees, the whole earth. A third year was a memory bouquet. We gifted our mothers writing our favorite stories about them. This year, 2012, our topic for May comes from the Biblical commandment to honor and revere our mothers (and fathers). The Bible neither defines the words "honor" and "revere" nor does it explain how we are to do it. So in 2012 each of us, with our unique and complicated relationships with our mothers, has the privilege and the obligation to articulate our honoring and revering in a legacy letter. As women, our mothers remain not just with us, but in us. Our connection with ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Edna O'Brien
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2012
    Age 81
    RTÉ aired a documentary on her as part of its Arts strand in early 2012.
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    Faber and Faber published her memoir, Country Girl, in 2012.
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  • 2011
    Age 80
    Her collection Saints and Sinners won the 2011 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, with judge Thomas McCarthy referring to her as "the Solzhenitsyn of Irish life".
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  • 2009
    Age 78
    In 2009, she was honoured with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award during a special ceremony at the year's Irish Book Awards in Dublin.
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  • 2006
    Age 75
    In 2006, she was appointed adjunct professor of English Literature in University College, Dublin.
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  • FORTIES
  • 1980
    Age 49
    In 1980, she wrote a play, Virginia, about Virginia Woolf and it was staged originally in June 1980 at the Stratford Festival, Ontario, Canada and subsequently in the West End of London at the Theatre Royal Haymarket with Maggie Smith and directed by Robin Phillips.
    More Details Hide Details It was staged at The Public Theater in New York in spring 1985. Other notable works include a biography of James Joyce, published in 1999, and one of the poet Lord Byron, Byron in Love (2009). House of Splendid Isolation (1994), her novel about a terrorist who goes on the run (part of her research involved visiting Irish republican Dominic McGlinchey, later shot dead, whom she called "a grave and reflective man"), marked a new phase in her writing career. Down by the River (1996) concerned an under-age rape victim who sought an abortion in England, the "Miss X case". In the Forest (2002) dealt with the real-life case of Brendan O'Donnell, who abducted and murdered a woman, her three-year-old son, and a priest, in rural Ireland. According to Scottish novelist Andrew O'Hagan, her place in Irish letters is assured. "She changed the nature of Irish fiction; she brought the woman's experience and sex and internal lives of those people on to the page, and she did it with style, and she made those concerns international." Irish novelist Colum McCann avers that O'Brien has been "the advance scout for the Irish imagination" for over fifty years.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1960
    Age 29
    She published her first book, The Country Girls, in 1960.
    More Details Hide Details This was the first part of a trilogy of novels (later collected as The Country Girls Trilogy), which included The Lonely Girl (1962) and Girls in Their Married Bliss (1964). Shortly after their publication, these books were banned and, in some cases burned, in her native country due to their frank portrayals of the sex lives of their characters. In the 1960s, she was a patient of R.D. Laing: "I thought he might be able to help me. He couldn't do that – he was too mad himself – but he opened doors", she later said. Her novel, A Pagan Place (1970), was about her repressive childhood. Her parents were vehemently against all things related to literature; her mother strongly disapproved of her daughter's career as a writer. Once when her mother found a Seán O'Casey book in her daughter's possession she tried to burn it.
  • 1954
    Age 23
    In 1954, she married, against her parents' wishes, the Irish writer Ernest Gébler and the couple moved to London – "We lived in SW 20. Sub-urb-ia." They had two sons, Carlo (a writer) and Sasha, but the marriage was dissolved in 1964.
    More Details Hide Details Gébler died in 1998. In London, she bought Introducing James Joyce, with an introduction written by T. S. Eliot, and said that when she learned that James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was autobiographical, it made her realise where she might turn, should she want to write herself. "Unhappy houses are a very good incubation for stories," she said. In London she started work as a reader for Hutchinson where, on the basis of her reports, she was commissioned, for £50, to write a novel.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1950
    Age 19
    In 1950, she was awarded a licence as a pharmacist.
    More Details Hide Details In Ireland, she read such writers as Tolstoy, Thackeray, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1941
    Age 10
    In the years 1941–46 she was educated by the Sisters of Mercy – a circumstance that contributed to a "suffocating" childhood. "I rebelled against the coercive and stifling religion into which I was born and bred.
    More Details Hide Details It was very frightening and all pervasive. I'm glad it has gone." She was fond of a nun as she deeply missed her mum and tried to identify the nun with her mother.
  • 1930
    Born
    Edna O'Brien was born in 1930 at Tuamgraney, County Clare, Ireland, a place she would later describe as "fervid" and "enclosed".
    More Details Hide Details According to O'Brien, her mother was a strong, controlling woman who had emigrated temporarily to America, and worked for some time as a maid in Brooklyn, New York, for a well-off Irish-American family before returning to Ireland to raise her family. O'Brien was the youngest child of "a strict, religious family".
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