I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Maureen O’Connor

A Gratuitous Assault

Because Edna O’Brien’s family had a nice enough house and the children got educated, her circumstances couldn’t have been all that bad, a ‘New Yorker’ profile argues. This betrays a startling ignorance of the economic, social and ideological conditions of mid-twentieth-century Ireland.

Girl Trouble

Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls was published in London in 1960 and almost immediately banned in Ireland. It has never since been out of print, its author has continued to publish successfully, to enjoy a high reputation internationally and to be translated into many European languages. And yet she is still not quite accepted by many in her native country.

Not telling

Edna O’Brien’s memoir refuses to satisfy our curiosity or submit to the demands for interpretation. She has fought others’ desire for control from childhood, and in her eighties is still fighting.