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Edna O'Brien - Author

About the Author

Since her debut novel The Country Girls Edna O'Brien has written over twenty works of fiction along with a biography of James Joyce and Lord Byron. She is the recipient of many awards including the Irish Pen Lifetime Achievement Award, the American National Art's Gold Medal and the Ulysses Medal. Born and raised in the west of Ireland she has lived in London for many years.

Featured books by Edna O'Brien

Other books by Edna O'Brien

The Country Girls Trilogy The Country Girls; The Lonely Girl; Girls in their Married Bliss

The Country Girls Trilogy The Country Girls; The Lonely Girl; Girls in their Married Bliss

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2019

Edna O'Brien's first novel The Country Girls and its sequels The Lonely Girl and Girls in their Married Bliss changed the temperature of Irish literature in the 1960s. The characters of Kate Brady and her friend Baba Brennan have inspired generation after generation of readers and writers, as we see them struggling against the confines of a rural Irish convent school; revelling in the bright lights of Dublin; and weathering the unexpected challenges of married life in London. The passion, artistry, and courage of Edna O'Brien's vision in these novels - tender portraits of innocence and youth, love and passion, dreams and reality - resonate into the twenty-first century, and are illuminated by Eimear McBride's new foreword.

Paradise Faber Stories

Paradise Faber Stories

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/01/2019

An unnamed protagonist is on holiday with her new, much-married lover, in the company of the monstrously rich. 'How long would she last? It would be uppermost in all their minds.' Each day, while the others are out at sea, she is taught to swim. Eventually, she will be expected to perform. The pressure mounts; it is only a matter of time before she snaps. Edna O'Brien crafts a quietly horrifying scene of eroticism and insecurity, and makes one woman's near-fatal discomfort stand for society's larger trap.

Country Girls: Three Novels and an Epilogue

Country Girls: Three Novels and an Epilogue

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: eBook Release Date: 14/11/2017

A treasure of world literature back in print, featuring a new introduction by Eimear McBrideThe country girls are Caithleen "e;Kate"e; Brady and Bridget "e;Baba"e; Brennan, and their story begins in the repressive atmosphere of a small village in the west of Ireland in the years following World War II. Kate is a romantic, looking for love; Baba is a survivor. Setting out to conquer the bright lights of Dublin, they are rewarded with comical miscommunications, furtive liaisons, bad faith, bad luck, bad sex, and compromise; marrying for the wrong reasons, betraying for the wrong reasons, fighting in their separate ways against the overwhelming wave of expectations forced upon "e;girls"e; of every era.The Country Girls Trilogy and Epilogue charts unflinchingly the pattern of women's lives, from the high spirits of youth to the chill of middle age, from hope to despair, in remarkable prose swinging from blunt and brutal to whimsical and lyrical. It is a saga both painful and hilarious, and remains one of the major accomplishments of Edna O'Brien's extraordinary career.This omnibus edition includes the novels The Country Girls, The Lonely Girl, and Girls in Their Married Bliss.

Tales for the Telling Irish Folk & Fairy Tales

Tales for the Telling Irish Folk & Fairy Tales

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/10/2017

The Country Girls Trilogy The Country Girls; The Lonely Girl; Girls in their Married Bliss

The Country Girls Trilogy The Country Girls; The Lonely Girl; Girls in their Married Bliss

Author: Edna O'Brien, Eimear McBride Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Edna O'Brien's first novel The Country Girls and its sequels The Lonely Girl and Girls in their Married Bliss changed the temperature of Irish literature in the 1960s. The characters of Kate Brady and her friend Baba Brennan have inspired generation after generation of readers and writers, as we see them struggling against the confines of a rural Irish convent school; revelling in the bright lights of Dublin; and weathering the unexpected challenges of married life in London. The passion, artistry, and courage of Edna O'Brien's vision in these novels - tender portraits of innocence and youth, love and passion, dreams and reality - resonate into the twenty-first century, and are illuminated by Eimear McBride's new foreword.

Country Girls

Country Girls

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/06/2017

Edna O'Brien's wonderful, wild and moving novel shocked the nation on its publication in 1960. Adapted for the stage by the author, The Country Girls, the play, is a highly theatrical and free-flowing telling of this classic coming of age story. This new edition of The Country Girls was published to coincide with its UK premiere at Chichester Festival Theatre in June 2017.

A Pagan Place

A Pagan Place

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/11/2016

After leaving for a religious community in Belgium, a young woman remembers her childhood in rural Ireland. She reflects on the rituals of village life, the people she encountered, and the enchanting beauty of the landscape. Her mind then turns to the shocking event that led to her departure.

Pagan Place

Pagan Place

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: eBook Release Date: 01/11/2016

A Pagan Place is Edna O'Brien's stunning novel about the uniquely wonderful, terrible, peculiar place she once called home. She writers not only of a life there - of a child becoming a woman - but of the Irish experience out of which that life arises. This is the Ireland of country villages and barley fields, of druids in the woods and of mischievous girls. Ireland has marked her life and work with unmistakable colour and depth, and here she recreates her homeland with a singular grace and intensity.

August is a Wicked Month

August is a Wicked Month

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2016

Banned in several countries upon first publication, August is a Wicked Month is a simmering tale of a woman rediscovering herself on the French Riviera. Separated from her husband and with her young son away, Ellen leaves behind the loneliness of London for a new life of excitement and sexual freedom. But she soon discovers that independence isn't quite so straightforward.

August is a Wicked Month

August is a Wicked Month

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: eBook Release Date: 05/07/2016

Banned in several countries upon first publication, August is a Wicked Month is a simmering tale of a woman rediscovering herself on the French Riviera. Separated from her husband and with her young son away, Ellen leaves behind the loneliness of London for a new life of excitement and sexual freedom. But she soon discovers that independence isn't quite so straightforward.

The Little Red Chairs

The Little Red Chairs

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/06/2016

When a man who calls himself a faith healer arrives in a small, west-coast Irish village, the community is soon under the spell of this charismatic stranger from the Balkans. One woman in particular, Fidelma McBride, becomes enthralled in a fatal attraction that leads to unimaginable consequences.

The Little Red Chairs

The Little Red Chairs

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/04/2016

When a wanted war criminal, masquerading as a healer, settles in a small west coast Irish village, the community are in thrall. One woman, Fidelma McBride, falls under his spell and in this searing novel, Edna O'Brien charts the consequence of that fatal attraction. This is a story about love, the artifice of evil and the terrible necessity of accountability in our shattered, damaged world.

The Little Red Chairs

The Little Red Chairs

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/10/2015

Ten years on from her last novel, Edna O'Brien reminds us why she is thought to be one of the great Irish writers of this and any generation. When a wanted war criminal from the Balkans, masquerading as a faith healer, settles in a small west coast Irish village, the community are in thrall. One woman, Fidelma McBride, falls under his spell and in this astonishing novel, Edna O'Brien charts the consequences of that fatal attraction. The Little Red Chairs is a story about love, the artifice of evil, and the terrible necessity of accountability in our shattered, damaged world. A narrative which dares to travel deep into the darkness has produced a book of enormous emotional intelligence and courage. Written with a fierce lyricism and sensibility, The Little Red Chairs dares to suggest there is a way back to redemption and hope when great evil is done. Almost six decades on from her debut, Edna O'Brien has produced what may be her masterpiece in the novel form.

The Love Object Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien

The Love Object Selected Stories of Edna O'Brien

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2013

Collected here together for the first time in one beautiful volume are the stories of an expert practitioner of the shorter form. Spanning five decades of writing, The Love Object takes the most memorable and successful stories from collections like A Scandalous Woman and Saints and Sinners; stories such as 'Shovel Kings', 'Irish Revel', 'Lantern Slides' and 'Paradise' that have bewitched generation after generation. Referred to in the New York Review of Books by Harold Bloom as 'the short story master', Edna O'Brien's stories are a cumulative portrait of a nation, seen from within and without. Here you will find stories about families, feuds, love and land; enchantment, disenchantment, and throughout, the manifold bonds of love. Here are stories about the tension between country and city life, the instinct towards escape and nostalgia for home; and always the shimmering, potent prose.

Country Girl

Country Girl

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2013

I thought of life's many bounties, to have known the extremities of joy and sorrow, love, crossed love and unrequited love, success and failure, fame and slaughter, to have read in the newspapers that as a writer I was past my sell-by date, yet regardless, to go on writing and reading, to be lucky enough to live in these two intensities that have buttressed my whole life. Born in Ireland in 1930 and driven into exile after publication of her controversial first novel, The Country Girls, O'Brien has created a body of work which bears comparison with the very best writers of the twentieth century. In Country Girl we come face to face with literary life of high drama and contemplation. And along the way there are encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars and literary titans -- all of whom lend this life, so gorgeously, sometimes painfully remembered here, a terrible poignancy. In prose which sparkles with the effortless gifts of a master in her ninth decade, Edna O'Brien has recast her life with the imaginitive insight of a poet. It is a book of unfathomable depths and honesty.

Country Girl

Country Girl

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/10/2012

I thought of life's many bounties, to have known the extremities of joy and sorrow, love, crossed love and unrequited love, success and failure, fame and slaughter, to have read in the newspapers that as a writer I was past my sell-by date, yet regardless, to go on writing and reading, to be lucky enough to live in these two intensities that have buttressed my whole life. Born in Ireland in 1930 and driven into exile after publication of her controversial first novel, The Country Girls, O'Brien has created a body of work which bears comparison with the very best writers of the twentieth century. In Country Girl we come face to face with literary life of high drama and contemplation. And along the way there are encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars and literary titans -- all of whom lend this life, so gorgeously, sometimes painfully remembered here, a terrible poignancy. In prose which sparkles with the effortless gifts of a master in her ninth decade, Edna O'Brien has recast her life with the imaginitive insight of a poet. It is a book of unfathomable depths and honesty.

Country Girl

Country Girl

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/09/2012

I thought of life's many bounties, to have known the extremities of joy and sorrow, love, crossed love and unrequited love, success and failure, fame and slaughter, to have read in the newspapers that as a writer I was past my sell-by date, yet regardless, to go on writing and reading, to be lucky enough to live in these two intensities that have buttressed my whole life. Born in Ireland in 1930 and driven into exile after publication of her controversial first novel, The Country Girls, O'Brien has created a body of work which bears comparison with the very best writers of the twentieth century. In Country Girl we come face to face with literary life of high drama and contemplation. And along the way there are encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars and literary titans -- all of whom lend this life, so gorgeously, sometimes painfully remembered here, a terrible poignancy. In prose which sparkles with the effortless gifts of a master in her ninth decade, Edna O'Brien has recast her life with the imaginitive insight of a poet. It is a book of unfathomable depths and honesty.

Saints and Sinners

Saints and Sinners

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/02/2012

A woman walks the streets of Manhattan and contemplates with exquisite longing the precarious affair she has embarked on, amidst the grandeur and cacophony of the cityscape; a young Irish girl and her mother are thrilled to be invited to visit the glamorous Coughlan's but find - for all the promise of their green gorgette, silver shoes and fancy dinner parties - they leave disappointed; an Irishman in north London retraces his life as a young lad with his mates digging the streets and dreaming of the apocryphal gold, an outsider both in Ireland and England, yet he carries the lodestar of his native land. A collection characterised by all of Edna O'Brien's trademark lyricism, powerful evocations of place and a glorious and an often heart-breaking grasp of people and their desires and contradictions.

Haunted

Haunted

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/02/2010

'A beguiling memory play of such subtle and elusive beauty, you feel it might disintegrate if you were to put your finger on it. But the action forms a delicate tissue of loss and regret as the bewitching Hazel causes Mr Berry to reflect on the wife he has lost and the child he never had.' Guardian 'Combines youthful freshness with a wise, rich, wholly lived-in quality. O'Brien digs deep, like elaborate crochet-work where the needles lance to the heart.' Daily Telegraph 'An enchanting exploration of desire and regret.' Observer Haunted premiered at Manchester's Royal Exchange in 2009 and transfers to the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, in February 2010 before a UK tour.

Light of Evening

Light of Evening

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: eBook Release Date: 15/07/2008

From her hospital bed in Dublin, the elderly Dilly awaits the visit of her daughter, Eleanora, from London. The epochs of her life pass before her; she also retraces Eleanora's precipitate marriage to a foreigner, which alienated mother and daughter, and Dilly's heart rending letters sent over the years in a determination to reclaim her daughter. But Eleanora's visit does not prove to be the glad reunion 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.

The Country Girls

The Country Girls

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2007

A classic title in Edna O'Brien's Country Girls Trilogy - the first volume It is the early 1960s in a country village in Ireland. Caithleen Brady and her attractive friend Baba are on the verge of womanhood and dreaming of spreading their wings in a wider world; of discovering love and luxury and liquor and above all, fun. With bawdy innocence, shrewd for all their inexperience, the girls romp their way through convent school to the bright lights of Dublin - where Caithleen finds that suave, idealised lovers rarely survive the real world.

Girl With Green Eyes

Girl With Green Eyes

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2007

A classic title in Edna O'Brien's Country Girls Trilogy - the second volume From eccentric Joanna's boarding house, predatory Baba roams Dublin looking for men to give her a good time - and dragging with her a reluctant Cait, worrying about her figure and wanting to talk about books. Then she meets dark, long-faced Eugene Gaillard, a film director, and for a while Cait's romantic dreams seem to be fulfilled. But Eugene Gaillard is a Protestant divorce, and when Cait's drunkard father gets to hear of it, he summons a lynch mob' Steering expertly between high romance, outright farce and the blend of them that is reality, Girl with Green Eyes is an original and joyful story of the gateway to adulthood.

Girls in their Married Bliss

Girls in their Married Bliss

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2007

A classic title in Edna O'Brien's Country Girls Trilogy - the third volume Kate and Baba are in London, playing out the tragicomedy of their married lives to its surprisingly level-headed conclusion. Kate, feeling trapped in her grey stone house with her increasingly cold husband, tearfully looks for her dreams of romance elsewhere. And when Eugene takes terrible, implacable revenge, she naturally turns to her brazen friend Baba for help. But Baba, the bored trophy wife of builder Frank, vulgarly flashing his wealth and ignorance to the world, has her own problems without Kate drooping self-pityingly over her. And both women find unsuspected qualities in themselves as they learn to face reality.

In the Forest

In the Forest

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2003

'Her best book, and a modern masterpiece' Sunday Independent 'One of the finest ever novels by an Irish writer' John Waters, Magill Set in the countryside of western Ireland, In the Forest centres on unwitting victims for sacrifice: a radiant young woman, her young son and a trusting priest, all despatched to the wilderness of a young man's unbridled, deranged fantasies. Edna O'Brien's riveting, frightening and brilliantly told new novel reminds us that anything can happen when protection isn't afforded to either perpetrator or victim . . . 'A savage portrait of desolation and rage, brilliantly told, truly shocking' Sunday Independent 'Brave, sensitive, beautifully written' Sunday Tribune 'A spare, compelling and compassionate novel' Guardian

Wild Decembers

Wild Decembers

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2000

'A gripping love story which will keep the reader guessing to the end and delight Edna O'Brien's many fans' Literary Review When a young man arrives from Australia to claim his inheritance, he changes a small Irish town for ever. Joseph Brennan sees Michael Bugler, the returned exile, as a threat. And for Breege, Joseph's younger sister, Bugler is an irresistible stranger to whose charms she must not succumb for fear of betraying her brother. A love-hate story on many levels, Wild Decembers explores the depth and darkness at the root of all ownership. With a rich and comic cast of characters, this primal story is a complex and daring work, fixed in a time and place, yet imbued with the permanence of myth. 'The power of the writing and the dazzle of the images make the book a resounding success' Dublin Evening News 'Intense and poetic' Independent 'She is one of our bravest and best novelists' Irish Times 'She's an exceptionally good writer. Those elegant, tumbling words, and the conviction that the writer is making a really important point' Sunday Tribune

Down By The River

Down By The River

Author: Edna O'Brien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/04/1997

'Edna O'Brien is one of the greatest writers in the English-speaking world' New York Times Book Review In the deceptively idyllic setting of rural Ireland, a crime of passion results in an emotional battlefield. At the centre of the crisis a young girl struggles with the conflicts of mind and body, the teaching of her faith and her mounting bewilderment at what she must do. As she tries to conceal, then escape her fate, she finds herself driven to the brink of despair. And then her private - and redeemable - tragedy is dragged into the public realm, and the power of decision is taken out of her hands. 'An angry, violent yet startlingly beautiful book' Independent on Sunday 'Taut and relentlessly powerful . . . O'Brien describes the tug of war between religious zealots and the kindly legal figures brilliantly. The story becomes grotesquely suspenseful and chilling' Literary Review 'Extraordinary and gripping . . . Down by the River is her most exciting and rewarding book by far' Observer

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