- This event has passed.
The Country Girls, A Celebration
Presented by the Irish Literary Society
In Collaboration with the ICC
“I wakened quickly and sat up in bed abruptly. It is only when I am anxious that I waken easily and for a minute I did not know why my heart was beating faster than usual. Then I remembered. The old reason. He had not come home…”
So begins Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls. With the support of the Dublin: One City, One Book festival we are bringing together a fascinating panel to discuss The Country Girls trilogy as it is being celebrated in Dublin as the chosen festival book. Quite clearly we are not in Dublin but we’re delighted to extend the consideration of O’Brien’s work to London, a city pivotal to her writing career. The special edition of the trilogy produced for this celebration is published by Faber & Faber and is introduced by Eimear McBride. The trilogy changed the temperature of Irish literature in the 1960s and inspired generations of readers and writers.
O’Brien’s invocation of female characters who dared desire more from life than domestic and sexual servitude, emotional disaffection and intellectual abnegation, was nothing short of revolutionary. Not only was O’Brien giving voice to the voiceless, she was washing the nation’s dirty laundry in public, laundry which has proved so dirty that, more than 50 years later, it is still proving in need of a rinse.Eimear McBrideThe passion, artistry and courage of Edna O’Brien’s vision in these novels continue to resonate into the 21st century. In addition to readings and discussion our panel will consider the role of the city in the books, how the romantic aspects of O’Brien’s work have coloured her reception and O’Brien’s influence on younger writers. Dublin One City One Book is a Dublin City Council initiative, led by Dublin City Public Libraries.