Country Girl

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0120121001

Edna O'Brien reads her memoir, from childhood in the faded grandeur of the big house.

The great Irish writer, Edna O'Brien, whose controversial 1960 novel brought her both literary fame and notoriety back home, reads her astonishingly honest memoir of a literary life of high drama.

Born in 1930 into a strict Catholic family in rural County Clare, O'Brien rejected her background in search of literary life in Dublin, but found herself transported to London, unhappily married with two young children. The publication of The Country Girls brought her literary stardom in sixties London, but also notoriety back home, and a bitter end to her marriage. But along the way there were also encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars and literary titans, as well as the inevitable regrets and sorrows.

In prose which sparkles with the effortless gifts of a master in her ninth decade, Edna O'Brien has recast her life with the imaginative insight of a poet, which gives her memoir, so beautifully and sometimes painfully remembered, a terrible poignancy.

In today's episode: childhood in the faded grandeur of the big house, and forbidden love.

Author: Since her debut novel The Country Girls, Edna O'Brien has written more than twenty works of fiction along with a biography of James Joyce and Lord Byron. She is the recipient of many awards including the Irish PEN Lifetime Achievement Award, the American National Art's Gold Medal and the Ulysses Medal. Born and raised in the west of Ireland she has lived in London for many years.

Abridger: Miranda Davies

Producer: Justine Willett.

0220121002

In Dublin, Edna finds literary life, lotharios and love.

The great Irish writer, Edna O'Brien, whose controversial 1960 novel brought her both literary fame and notoriety, reads her astonishingly honest memoir of a literary life of high drama.

Born in 1930 into a strict Catholic family in rural County Clare, O'Brien rejected her background in search of literary life in Dublin, but found herself transported to London, unhappily married with two young children. The publication of The Country Girls brought her literary stardom in sixties London, but also notoriety back home, and a bitter end to her marriage. But along the way there were also encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars and literary titans, as well as the inevitable regrets.

In today's episode: in Dublin Edna finds literary life, lotharios - and love.

Author: Since her debut novel The Country Girls, Edna O'Brien has written more than twenty works of fiction along with a biography of James Joyce and Lord Byron.

Abridger: Miranda Davies

Producer: Justine Willett

0320121003

Edna, the 'child bride', starts work on The Country Girls.

The great Irish writer, Edna O'Brien, whose controversial 1960 novel brought her both literary fame and notoriety back home, reads her astonishingly honest memoir of a literary life of high drama.

Born in 1930 into a strict Catholic family in rural County Clare, O'Brien rejected her background in search of literary life in Dublin, but found herself transported to London, unhappily married with two young children. The publication of The Country Girls brought her literary stardom in sixties London, but also notoriety back home, and a bitter end to her marriage. But along the way there were also encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars and literary titans, as well as the inevitable regrets and sorrows.

In today's episode: Edna, the 'child bride', starts work on The Country Girls.

Author: Since her debut novel The Country Girls, Edna O'Brien has written more than twenty works of fiction along with a biography of James Joyce and Lord Byron.

Abridger: Miranda Davies

Producer: Justine Willett

0420121004

Edna enjoys literary success in 60s London.

The great Irish writer, Edna O'Brien, whose controversial 1960 novel brought her both literary fame and notoriety back home, reads her astonishingly honest memoir of a literary life of high drama.

Born in 1930 into a strict Catholic family in rural County Clare, O'Brien rejected her background in search of literary life in Dublin, but found herself transported to London, unhappily married with two young children. The publication of The Country Girls brought her literary stardom in sixties London, but also notoriety back home, and a bitter end to her marriage. But along the way there were also encounters with Hollywood giants, pop stars and literary titans, as well as the inevitable regrets and sorrows.

In today's episode: Edna enjoys literary success in Sixties London.

Author: Since her debut novel The Country Girls, Edna O'Brien has written more than twenty works of fiction along with a biography of James Joyce and Lord Byron.

Abridger: Miranda Davies

Producer: Justine Willett

05 LAST20121005

Writer Edna O'Brien reads her memoir, recalling New York dreams, and London memories.

The great Irish writer, Edna O'Brien, whose controverstial 1960 novel brought her both literary fame and notoriety, reads her astonishingly honest memoir of a literary life of high drama.

In today's episode: Edna rubs shoulders with the great and the good of New York, while back in London, her thoughts return to the past.

Author: Since her debut novel The Country Girls, Edna O'Brien has written more than twenty works of fiction along with a biography of James Joyce and Lord Byron.

Abridger: Miranda Davies

Producer: Justine Willett