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wonderful writing and narration. truly moving. could listen to it again and again. Edna O'Brian is incredible.
You should read the trailblazing Irish writer Edna O'Brien, if you haven't. She was a pioneer in writing the uncensored and ungilded lives and inner thoughts of women, and, as such, a revolutionary in her native Ireland.
Educated as a pharmacist, she married a writer and moved to London. It was then, ironically, that she read James Joyce's A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN, and decided she wanted to write. She came out of the gate, but good, at the age of 30 with the 1960 publication of THE COUNTRY GIRLS, the first of what's now known as The Country Girls Trilogy (1960-64). These books were banned, and even burned, in Ireland due to their vivid depiction of the sensual lives and thoughts of women (especially single ones).
Most of the tales in this volume of selected stories portray the inner thoughts and sensuousness of women, their strengths and flaws, primarily in relationships with men but also to other women. I found the title story the most notable in this respect, particularly considering when it was published (1968), in its vivid framing of the deliberations, imaginations and progressive deterioration of a woman infatuated, erotically hungry for, and ultimately obsessed with a married man.
Other stories show the savagery of some women, particularly in leading a collective (including gossipy men). In THE WIDOW, a young single lady named Bridget moves into town and rents out rooms in her home to pay the bills; the women (and men) refer to her at times by quoting a rhyming song that goes, "Betty the whore who lives in a house without a door." Bridget marries, and some years later, her husband drowns while out fishing. After a new man comes a-calling on Bridget, they fall in love and quickly get engaged, the townsfolk start rumors that her first husband committed suicide causing the fiance' to call it all off. Woe, insidious depredation by defamation.
As Hypocrites said, the "inside" is "where a person loves from," it's "the reality, not what they say." Edna O'Brien seems to capture where the woman loves from better than any writer this male has read.
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