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Touchy Subjects by Emma Donoghue

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From the author of the multi award winning ‘Room’ comes an electrifying collection of stories exploring taboos and secrets. Never has such uncomfortable subject matter made for such compulsive reading.

If you like Emma Donoghue you might also like to read books by Simon Lelic, Ray Robinson and Daniel Clay.


Touchy Subjects by Emma Donoghue

How do you make conversation with a sperm donor? How do you say someone's novel is drivel? Would you give a screaming baby brandy? In what words would you tell your girlfriend to pluck a hair on her chin? Touchy Subjects is about things that make people wince: taboos, controversies, secrets and lies. Some of the events that characters crash into are grand, tragic ones: miscarriage, overdose, missing persons, a mother who deserts her children. Other topics, like religion and money, are not inherently taboo, but they can cause acute discomfort because people disagree so vehemently. Many of these stories are about the spectrum of constrained, convoluted feeling that runs from awkwardness through embarrassment to shame.


'All of Donoghue's stories are lucid and well paced...written over a number of years, these stories demonstrate considerable versatility...It's evident she likes her characters, and you probably will too.' --Tibor Fischer New York Times

About the Author

Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue was born in Ireland in 1969 and lived in England before moving to Canada. Emma writes fiction (including the bestselling Slammerkin), drama for stage and radio, and literary history; Room is her seventh novel. Some of the places she found her inspiration : Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719),, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006), Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh (1856), John Fowles’s The Collector (1963), Anne Frank’s Diary (1947), Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), Terminator 2 : Judgment Day (1991), The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs (1966), but above all in conversation with my five-year-old son.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th April 2011


Emma Donoghue

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Virago Press Ltd an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group


288 pages


Literary Fiction
Short Story Collections
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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