A newly reissued edition of this haunting, poetic coming-of-age novel from “one of the great writers...in the English-speaking world” (The New York Times)
“O’Brien’s evocative prose shows the chilling hold that history and the dead clamp on the living.” Paul Gray, Time
“O’Brien brings together the earthy and the delicately poetic: she has the soul of Molly Bloom and the skills of Virginia Woolf.” Ray Sawhill, Newsweek
In A Pagan Place, Edna O’Brien returns to Ireland, the uniquely wonderful, terrible, and peculiar place she once called home. After leaving to join a religious community in Belgium, a young woman remembers her childhood on the western coast of Ireland. She reflects on the rituals of rural life, the people she encountered, and the enchanting beauty of the landscape.
This is the Ireland of country villages and barley fields, of mischievous girls and druids in the woods. As the impressions of her former home intensify, her mind turns to the shocking event that led to her departure.
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Since her debut novel, The Country Girls, EDNA O'BRIEN has written more than twenty works of fiction. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Irish PEN Lifetime Achievement Award, the American National Arts Gold Medal, and the Frank O'Connor Prize. Born and raised in the west of Ireland, she has lived in London for many years.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The description sounded so enticing and, loving so many things Irish, I could not wait to settle down with this novel. Unfortunately, what ensued was a boring monologue from a nameless narrator "to" the person about whom the book was written addressed only as "you". Various other characters are introduced without identity so the reader is totally lost as to how they even fit in. Occasional high points, but for the most part, a draggy, murky, confusing waste of time.
This is my first reading experience with Edna O'Brien and won't be the last! Being of Irish descent, I I was fascinated by her account of life in a small Irish town. At first I thought the narrator was talking to a child but as I went along, i realized the child was grown and I wondered why such a narrative with an adult, but I thought maybe it was for some purpose such as the woman being ill or in a coma. Now i realize the narrator was also the "You" as she was speaking to herself. Pretty amazing and not easy to sustain such a plan over a period of any length of time. Through her narrative self "You" relived her childhood into young adulthood, telling the story of her home life, the village in which she lived in the late 1930s-early 1940s and the people she had encountered along the way in her life. It was part coming-of-age story, part romance, and part memoir. The book was funny, heartwarming and tragic, just as all lives are. I was so into the story of "You" I almost felt like the woman could have been myself but for the grace of God and my Irish ancestors who came to America in the 19th century. It could have even been the life of a cousin or aunt whose branch of the family did not leave. Pretty mind-blowing stuff. I am so glad I didn't speed through the book and took the time to savor the story and think about this book and how it is so personal and that is what good writing can do!