Edna O'Brien

© Bruce Weber

(15/12/1930)

Edna O'Brien was born in Twamgraney, Co. Clare, and studied pharmacy in University College Dublin. In 1954 she moved to London and made her literary début with The Country Girls in 1960. The book and its two sequels caused outrage in Ireland and were banned by the Censorship Board. O'Brien has written bestselling novels, plays, children's books, essays, screenplays, and non-fiction about Ireland, often focusing on topical questions in relation to religion and gender. She has received numerous awards for her works, including a Kingsley Amis Award in 1962, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 1990 for Lantern Slides. In 2006, Edna O'Brien was appointed adjunct professor of English Literature in University College Dublin.

Books
© Text Publishers, 2012

Byron in Love

Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009

 

Everything about Lord George Gordon Byron was a paradox - insider and outsider, beautiful and deformed, serious and facetious, profligate but on occasion miserly, and possessed of a fierce intelligence trapped forever in a child's magic and malices. Edna O'Brien's exemplary biography of the rebel poet who continues to fascinate critics and readers alike focuses upon the diverse and colourful women in his life.

 

Translated into

Russian

Rights Contact
Ed Victor,
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HE
United Kingdom

T: 0044 2073044100
F: 0044 2073044111
E: ed@edvictor.com
@ Lit Edizioni Srl, 2014

Country Girl: A Memoir

Faber & Faber, 2012

Born in County Clare in 1930, in a town with no library and 27 pubs, O'Brien discovered literature in her twenties while working as a pharmacy's assistant in Dublin. Her illicit affair with a married man drove her out of Ireland and her controversial first novel, The Country Girls, published in 1960, cemented both her exile and her success. Her house in swinging London became a magnet for Hollywood giants, pop stars and literary titans. Now in her eighties, O'Brien gives her readers insight into a life devoted to writing and reading.

Translated into

Dutch, Italian

Rights Contact
Ed Victor,
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HE
United Kingdom

T: 0044 2073044100
F: 0044 2073044111
E: ed@edvictor.com
© Errata naturae editores, 2014

Girl with Green Eyes (The Lonely Girl)

Orion Books, 1962

Girl with Green Eyes continues the story of childhood friends Kate and Baba, now both twenty-one, as they navigate the rocky, sometimes treacherous pathways of urban life. With hearts as big as Dublin, and hopes as bright as new pennies, they move bravely and eagerly toward the future. Yet the two couldn't be more different. Kate toils in a grocery shop and lives out her romantic fantasies in books. Baba entertains more earthbound dreams. Their principles—and friendship—are tested when Kate meets a dashing married man, and discovers the exhilaration of passion...and the consequences of falling in love. A novel that combines the teeming ethos of big-city life with the ambitions and yearnings of two emerging young women, Girl with Green Eyes is a stellar achievement from one of Ireland's finest storytellers.

Translated into

Spanish

Rights Contact
Ed Victor,
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HE
United Kingdom

T: 0044 2073044100
F: 0044 2073044111
E: ed@edvictor.com
© De Bezige Bij

House of Splendid Isolation

Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1994

Josie, the ailing, elderly inhabitant of an Irish country mansion, dwells in the shadowy world of remembered pain and loneliness. McGreevy, the terrorist, reintroduces the possibility of compassion and tenderness, but there is an inevitably violent conclusion to their understanding as the police net closes. With extraordinary skill and empathy, Edna O'Brien shows two faces of a divided land: the yearnings of a woman whose youthful joy was broken and the intransigent idealism of her captor.

Translated into

Dutch

Rights Contact
Kerry Glencorse,
David Godwin Associates
55 Monmouth Street
London WC2H 9DG
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7240 9992
F: 0044 20 7395 6110
E: kerry@davidgodwinassociates.co.uk
W: www.davidgodwinassociates.co.uk
© Hoffmann & Campe

In the Forest

Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2002

Set in the west of Ireland, In the Forest is the story of a young man who shoots dead three people in a forest glade. The young man, Mich O'Kane, is an institutionalised criminal whose sexual fantasies eventually centre on Eily, an artist and single mother, who lives with her son Maddie. One day Mich pounces and orders Eily to drive them to the woods nearby...

Translated into

German

Rights Contact
Kerry Glencorse,
David Godwin Associates
55 Monmouth Street
London WC2H 9DG
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7240 9992
F: 0044 20 7395 6110
E: kerry@davidgodwinassociates.co.uk
W: www.davidgodwinassociates.co.uk
© Nefeli Publishers

James Joyce

Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999

In her biography of Joyce, Edna O'Brien relates how she shares a love for the music and precision of words with the writer she has considered her model and inspiration throughout her career.

Translated into

Greek

Rights Contact
Kerry Glencorse,
David Godwin Associates
55 Monmouth Street
London WC2H 9DG
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7240 9992
F: 0044 20 7395 6110
E: kerry@davidgodwinassociates.co.uk
W: www.davidgodwinassociates.co.uk
© Kirmizi Kedi, 2015

Saints and Sinners

Faber & Faber, 2011

This collection of stories is characterised by an often heart-breaking grasp of people and their desires and contradictions: 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 - 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.

Translated into

Serbian, Bulgarian, Turkish

Rights Contact
Ed Victor,
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HE
United Kingdom

T: 0044 2073044100
F: 0044 2073044111
E: ed@edvictor.com
© Tyto Alba, 2008

The Country Girls Trilogy and Epilogue

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1986

The famous trilogy follows the lives of heroines Kate Brady and Baba Brennan as they struggle to find a place for themselves, first in Irish, then in British society. It comprises in one volume O'Brien's first three novels, published between 1960 and 1964, which combine an unusual frankness and sensitivity with beautiful prose. The Country Girls, O'Brien's literary début, tells the story of Caithleen and Baba's adolescence and coming of age. Growing up in Co. Clare, the two unlikely friends are brought closer together when Cait's mother drowns in a mysterious accident and her alcoholic father has to sell the family farm. Sent to a convent boarding school together, meek Cait quickly adapts and excels, while lively Baba suffers from boredom so severe, she devises a plan to get them both expelled. With the convent doors firmly shut behind them, the two girls' next stop is Dublin. Soon, they discover that the freedom the city has to offer young women comes at a price. Whereas pragmatic Baba plays the game with gusto, strategically choosing her partners, Cait remains a hopeless romantic, saving herself up for a 'Mr. Gentleman'. In the end, he will let her down, and Caithleen will have to learn to go her way alone. In The Lonely Girl, she discovers the exhilaration of passion - and the consequences of falling in love with a married man, a Protestant to boot. When the news reaches her drunkard father, he kidnaps her and locks her up. Once again, Cait's situation seems doomed. Girls in their Married Bliss rejoins the two friends in London years later. Caithleen has changed her name to neutral 'Kate', and is married to Eugene, the cause of all her troubles in the second part. Feeling increasingly alienated from him, she begins an affair. Eugene's terrible revenge for her unfaithfulness sends her back to her old friend Baba for support. But Baba, the bored trophy wife of builder Frank, has enough problems already without having to cure Kate of her self-pity and indefatigable romanticism. United in their dissatisfaction, the two women have to find a way to play out the tragicomedy of their married lives to its surprising conclusion.

Translated into

Lithuanian

Rights Contact
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux,
Attention: Subsidiary Rights Department
18 West 18th Street
New York, NY 10011
United States

T: 001 212 633 9385
E: rights@fsgbooks.com
W: http://us.macmillan.com
© Espasa Calpe S.A., 2009

The Light of Evening

Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2006

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: emigrating to America in the 1920s, a romantic liaison she had there, the destiny that brought her back to Ireland and her marriage. She also retraces Eleanora's precipitate marriage to a foreigner, and Dilly's heart-rending letters sent over the years in a determination to reclaim her daughter. Eleanora's visit does not prove to be the glad reunion that it might have been, and, in her sudden departure, she leaves behind the secret journal of their stormy relationship. The Light of Evening is a novel of dreams and broken dreams but, at its core, is the realisation that the bond between mother and child is unbreakable, stronger even than death.

Translated into

Greek, Spanish

Rights Contact
Ed Victor,
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HE
United Kingdom

T: 0044 2073044100
F: 0044 2073044111
E: ed@edvictor.com
© Naklada Ljevak, 2015

The Little Red Chairs

Faber&Faber, 2015

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.

Translated into

Dutch, Estonian, Croatian, Spanish, Serbian, German, Hungarian, Romanian

Rights Contact
Ed Victor,
Ed Victor Ltd.
6 Bayley Street
Bedford Square, London WC1B 3HE
United Kingdom

T: 0044 2073044100
F: 0044 2073044111
E: ed@edvictor.com
© Metaixmio

Wild Decembers

Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999

When a young man arrives from Australia to claim his inheritance, he changes a small Irish town forever. 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.

Translated into

Greek

Rights Contact
Kerry Glencorse,
David Godwin Associates
55 Monmouth Street
London WC2H 9DG
United Kingdom

T: 0044 20 7240 9992
F: 0044 20 7395 6110
E: kerry@davidgodwinassociates.co.uk
W: www.davidgodwinassociates.co.uk